NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, April 1st
(All times eastern)
Buffalo Sabres (37-20-12) at Toronto Maple Leafs (36-33-10), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Buffalo Sabres will try to keep their faint playoff
hopes alive tonight, when they visit the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada
Centre for the final meeting between the clubs this season.
The Sabres are five points out of a postseason berth in the Eastern
Conference, as they trail Philadelphia and Boston for the eighth seed. Buffalo
has just three games left in the regular season and could eliminate itself
from playoff contention with a loss tonight.
The Sabres picked up an important win in their playoff push on Sunday, as they
notched a 2-1 overtime win over the visiting Bruins. Andrej Sekera's goal 39
seconds into the extra session helped Buffalo notch the victory at HSBC Arena.
Boston attempted to rush the length of the ice, but a costly turnover in the
neutral zone led to the end of the contest. Mike Weber poked the disc ahead to
Thomas Vanek, who cruised down the left wing and pulled up in the circle.
He then held the disc before a cross-ice pass to Sekera, who rifled a shot
past Alex Auld on the blocker side.
Toni Lydman also scored and Ryan Miller posted 17 saves for Buffalo, which had
dropped three of four coming in.
Sunday's game was Buffalo's final regular-season game at home this season, as
the Sabres will close their schedule on a three-game road trip. Buffalo is
just 17-15-6 as the visiting club this year.
The Maple Leafs have already been knocked out of the playoffs, but were able
to post a win against their archrivals on Saturday. Jiri Tlusty had two goals
and an assist, and Anton Stralman also scored a pair as Toronto topped the
Montreal Canadiens, 4-2, at Air Canada Centre.
Nik Antropov added three assists for the Leafs, who snapped a two-game losing
skid. Vesa Toskala made 21 saves to earn the win.
The Leafs are playing the middle test of a three-game homestand tonight and
will close out their regular season Saturday at Montreal. Toronto is 18-16-5
as the hosts this year.
Buffalo is 4-3 against the Maple Leafs this year, but has taken seven of 11
and nine of the last 14 encounters between the clubs. The Sabres have also
posted victories in two straight, six of eight and seven of their previous 10
trips to Toronto.
04/01 10:46:09 ET