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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, February 14th (All times eastern)

Buffalo Sabres (25-26-5-1) at Toronto Maple Leafs (31-14-9-3), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Buffalo Sabres continue their march towards a playoff berth tonight, as they head into Toronto to battle the Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre.

The Sabres have 56 points and are seven behind the Islanders for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Buffalo hasn't made the postseason since 2001.

On Friday, the Sabres dismantled the Los Angeles Kings, 8-3, at HSBC Arena. Maxim Afinogenov scored twice and Ales Kotalik delivered a career-high three points to lead Buffalo to the blowout.

Daniel Briere and Kotalik each finished with a goal and two assists for the Sabres, who notched the final seven goals to earn their second straight win. Martin Biron made 21 saves to help Buffalo win for the sixth time in seven outings.

Buffalo, which has won two straight and three of its last four road games, returns home for Monday's game against Atlanta.

The Maple Leafs, meanwhile, lead the Northwest Division with 74 points and are just two behind Philadelphia for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.

Toronto is coming off a 4-1 home victory over Columbus on Thursday night. Gary Roberts' power-play goal in the second period snapped a tie and propelled the Maple Leafs to the win.

Darcy Tucker and Mikael Renberg each posted a goal and an assist while Tie Domi also scored for the Leafs, owners of a three-game unbeaten streak (2-0-1). Ed Belfour turned aside 18 shots to backstop the win, as Toronto has now earned a point in five of its last six games (4-1-1).

Roberts scored for the second straight game and has five goals and one assist in his last six contests.

Toronto captain Mats Sundin suffered a cut below his right eye after being hit with David Vyborny's stick. However, he stayed in the game and assisted on the Leafs' final goal to extend his point streak to five games (3g, 5a).

The home team has dominated this series recently, losing just once in the previous 22 matchups (16-1-5).

Buffalo is 3-1-1 in the last five matchups overall, but is winless in its last 12 trips to Toronto (0-9-3).

02/14 10:15:03 ET


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