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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, March 6th (All times eastern)

Buffalo Sabres (29-30-6-1) at Toronto Maple Leafs (37-19-9-3), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Toronto Maple Leafs continue their quest for the top seed in the Eastern Conference tonight when they welcome the Buffalo Sabres to Air Canada Centre.

With 86 points, the Leafs are two behind Tampa Bay and Philadelphia for the conference lead.

On Thursday, Brian Leetch assisted on three power-play goals in his Toronto debut, leading the Maple Leafs to a 6-2 victory over the New York Islanders at ACC.

Bryan McCabe scored twice and added an assist for the Leafs, who have won three straight after losing three in a row. Gary Roberts, Mats Sundin and Robert Reichel each contributed a goal and an assist, while Darcy Tucker chipped in a goal.

Ed Belfour needed to make just 16 saves in the victory.

Leetch, acquired from the New York Rangers on Wednesday after the team failed to obtain Sergei Gonchar, set up a pair of power-play goals in the first period to give the Leafs a 2-0 lead.

The Maple Leafs play the fourth portion of a six-game homestand tonight, and will welcome Florida to town on Tuesday.

Buffalo, meanwhile, is grasping to slippery playoff hopes. With 65 points, the Sabres are tied with Florida for ninth in the East -- eight behind the NY Islanders for the final postseason spot.

On Wednesday, Miroslav Satan scored the go-ahead goal on a power play in the third period and Chris Drury added two tallies, as the Sabres skated past the Ottawa Senators, 4-3, at HSBC Arena.

Martin Biron stopped 31 shots for Buffalo, which snapped a four-game losing streak. Maxim Afinogenov added a goal for the Sabres, who are now 5-1-1 in their last seven home games. Satan, whose name has popped up in trade rumors, also chipped in two assists in the triumph.

Peter Bondra had a golden opportunity to get the equalizer for Ottawa with under a minute remaining. Biron, though, made a sprawling glove save at the doorstep to preserve the win.

The Sabres will host St. Louis on Sunday.

Buffalo is 2-0-1 against Toronto this season.

03/06 10:23:18 ET


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