NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, January 19th
(All times eastern)
Buffalo Sabres (20-19-6) at Toronto Maple Leafs (18-21-8), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Sabres halted their franchise-record losing streak in a
big way last night. Buffalo hopes it saved some goals for tonight as the club
kicks off its longest road trip of the season tonight against the Toronto
Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre.
Buffalo had dropped its last 10 games, surpassing the 2002-03 team's
franchise-worst eight-game slide, and hadn't won since December 22 before
dismantling the Atlanta Thrashers, 10-1, Friday night.
Drew Stafford recorded his first career hat trick as part of a career-high
five-point night. The goal barrage ended Stafford's eight-game stretch without
a goal, and the second-year winger posted multiple points in a game for the
first time since December 6, a span of 16 contests.
Derek Roy also notched a hat trick -- his second career -- for the Sabres, who
set a season-high for goals in one game.
Thomas Vanek, Jochen Hecht and Ales Kotalik added a goal and two assists
apiece and Daniel Paille also tallied for Buffalo, which last registered
double-digit goals in a 10-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings on January 14,
Ryan Miller stopped 23-of-24 shots for his 18th win of the season.
Buffalo will now try to end a six-game road losing streak in the opener of its
seven-game swing tonight. The Sabres are 8-11-4 on the road this year and
continue the trip in Phoenix on Monday.
The Maple Leafs, meanwhile, will try to win three in a row for the first time
since a four-game win streak from November 29-December 6.
Alex Steen scored once in regulation and Mats Sundin notched the game-winner
in the shootout, as Toronto clipped Boston, 3-2, at TD Banknorth Garden.
Sundin tallied on Toronto's second shootout chance by slipping a shot between
Alex Auld's pads, then Vesa Toskala stoned Boston's Marc Savard. Steen
followed with the clincher by fooling Auld with a stick fake in the high slot,
moving to the right side, and popping the puck inside the right post.
Matt Stajan lit the lamp in regulation for the Maple Leafs, who won for just
the third time in their last 11 games (3-7-1).
Tomas Kaberle registered a pair of assists and Toskala stopped 29 shots in the
Toronto is 9-8-5 as the host team this year and has won two of its last three
This matchup features the bottom two teams of the Northeast Division, as
Toronto is last with 44 points, while Buffalo is just two points ahead of the
The Sabres and Maple Leafs have split two games this year so far -- both in
Buffalo -- and the Sabres have won four of the last six in the series and four
of their last five in Toronto.
01/19 10:34:20 ET