NHL Game Summary - Buffalo at Toronto
(Saturday, March 24th)
Final Score: Toronto 4, Buffalo 1
Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Darcy Tucker scored twice, and Andrew Raycroft stopped 19 shots as the Toronto Maple Leafs stayed right in the thick of the playoff race in the Eastern Conference with a 4-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres.
Nik Antropov had a goal and an assist, and Bryan McCabe and Kyle Wellwood notched two assists each for Toronto, which rebounded to win the second-half of a home-and-home. Buffalo downed the Maple Leafs, 5-4, in Buffalo on Friday, after trailing 4-1.
"We played two solid periods last night, we wanted to do it for three periods tonight," said Tucker.
The Maples Leafs have won two of three, but could not gain any ground in the race for the eighth playoff spot in the east. Carolina, Montreal, and the Islanders all won on Saturday. The Hurricanes and Canadiens are tied at 84 points for the eighth seed, while New York sits a point back at 83, and Toronto is one behind the Islanders at 82.
Jochen Hecht scored the only goal for the Sabres, who had won two straight entering the game. Ryan Miller let in three goals on 21 shots before being pulled in the second period, and Ty Conklin came on in relief, allowing one score on 14 shots.
Tucker drew first blood for Toronto, scoring just 3:28 in to make it 1-0.
Hecht answered with only 1:03 left in the first period, floating a wrister past a shielded Raycroft from the left circle to tie the game at 1-1.
Tucker's second tally game just 1:45 into the second period. He unleashed a wrister from the left circle past Miller that caught just inside the top right corner of the net.
The Maple Leafs lead doubled just under two minutes later. Boyd Devereaux skated behind the net and found Carlo Colaiacovo open at the top of left circle. Colaiacovo one-timed the puck past Miller posting Toronto to a 3-1 lead.
Antropov capped the scoring, notching his 17th score of the season 5:04 into the third period.
"We were playing like we did last night in the beginning - sluggish, turning the puck over, not moving our feet. We woke up late last night, but not tonight," said Buffalo defenseman Brian Campbell.
This was Toronto's fourth win in the last 14 meetings with Buffalo...Tucker now has 20 career two-goal games, but has never notched a hat trick.
03/24 22:27:25 ET