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NHL Preview from The Sports Network

Friday, April 2nd (All times eastern)

Toronto Maple Leafs (43-24-10-3) at Buffalo Sabres (37-32-7-4), 8 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Buffalo Sabres try to keep their playoff hopes alive tonight when they welcome the Toronto Maple Leafs to HSBC Arena.

The Sabres have 85 points and are just three behind the New York Islanders for the eighth and final spot in the Eastern Conference. However, there is little margin for error, as both teams have just two games remaining.

On Wednesday, Jochen Hecht scored a pair of goals and set up two others, as the Sabres spoiled what may have been the last game of Mark Messier's career with a 4-3 victory over the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

Daniel Briere and Dmitri Kalinin also scored for the Sabres, who have won two straight and are 5-0-1 in their last six. Martin Biron made 37 saves in the triumph.

The Sabres visit Montreal on Saturday night to close the regular season.

Meanwhile, Toronto has already clinched a playoff berth, but is still fighting for position. The Maple Leafs have 99 points and are currently fifth in the East -- one behind Ottawa and one ahead of New Jersey. All three teams have two games remaining.

On Monday, Gary Roberts was credited with the go-ahead goal early in the third period and he added an assist to lead Toronto to a 4-2 win over the Atlanta Thrashers at Air Canada Centre.

Ed Belfour stopped 23 shots for Toronto, while Alexander Mogilny posted a goal and an assist. The Maples Leafs improved to 2-0-1 in their last three and 4-1-1 in their last six.

The Maple Leafs close their regular season with a crucial matchup in Ottawa on Saturday night.

Buffalo is 3-1-1 against the Maple Leafs this year and 5-2-1 in the last eight matchups. Toronto is also just 2-8-2 in its last 12 trips to Buffalo.

04/02 10:09:08 ET

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