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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, April 1st (All times eastern)

Buffalo Sabres (45-22-6) at Toronto Maple Leafs (34-32-6), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Toronto Maple Leafs will try to bolster their faltering playoff hopes tonight, as they welcome the Buffalo Sabres to Air Canada Centre.

The Leafs have 74 points and are currently nine points out of the final postseason berth in the Eastern Conference.

However, Toronto has won two in a row, including a 3-2 victory in Philadelphia on Tuesday. Mats Sundin tallied a goal and an assist while Jean-Sebastien Aubin won his second consecutive start, as the Leafs edged the Flyers, 3-2, at the Wachovia Center.

Alexei Ponikarovsky and Alex Steen also scored for the Maple Leafs. This was also the second start of the season for Aubin -- who made 28 saves -- after he backstopped a 4-3 win over the Devils on Sunday.

The Maple Leafs have won four of their last six games overall.

Tonight marks the start of a three-game homestand for the Maple Leafs, who are 21-12-2 as the host this season.

The Sabres, meanwhile, have dropped seven of their last eight games. They were handed a 3-1 setback in New Jersey on Thursday. Martin Brodeur stopped 29 shots to lead the Devils.

Tim Connolly netted the only goal and Martin Biron made 25 saves for the slumping Sabres.

Buffalo has 96 points and holds a six-point lead over the Philadelphia Flyers for the fourth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

The Sabres, who are 21-12-3 as the visitor this season, are playing the middle test of a three-game road trip tonight.

Buffalo has won four of five meetings against the Leafs this season and is 7-3-1 (3 losses, 1 tie) in the last 10 encounters.

04/01 10:44:44 ET


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