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Powering Their Way To Victory

Monday, 09.18.2006 / 12:00 AM / News
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Powering Their Way To Victory

September 18, 2006
By Brian Wheeler

The Buffalo Sabres remarkable power play during the 2005-06 season started off the 2006-07 season right where it left off.

Despite carting eight rookies to Toronto for their opening game of the team's exhibition schedule, Buffalo's man-advantage unit scored four goals in 11 opportunities to elevate Buffalo to a dominating 4-0 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Air Canada Centre on Monday night.

The Sabres man-advantage unit, which finished the 2005-06 season ranked third in the league after converting 21.2 per cent of their opportunities, scored three goals in less than a 10 minute span in the second period and its fourth of the game with five minutes remaining in the third to move Buffalo to 1-0 during preseason play.

A variety of Sabres jumped into the scoring race, as 11 different players recorded points against the Leafs.

Jiri Novotny, Derek Roy, Daniel Paille and Michael Ryan each scored their first goal of the preseason. Ryan led all scorers with two points as he added an assist on Roy's goal in the second period.

Rounding out the scoring with assists was Thomas Vanek, Brian Campbell, Adam Mair, Dmitri Kalinin, Paul Gaustad and Nathan Paetsch.

Goaltender Martin Biron recorded the shutout after turning away all 23 shots that he faced.

Just over eight minutes into the middle period, Novotny gave Buffalo the 1-0 lead after redirecting Vanek's across-ice feed past goaltender Andrew Raycroft.

Six minutes later the Sabres struck again with another long pass. Scooting into Toronto's zone, Mair eluded defenseman Bryan McCabe and found Derek Roy at the left post for the one timer and a two-goal Buffalo lead.

Paille scored after out muscling blueline-giant Hal Gill for a loose puck in front and shoveling the biscuit past Raycroft at 18:08 of the second frame on a five-on-three advantage.

Ryan caught Raycroft over-committing and beat the netminder with a wristshot top-shelf to give Buffalo the 4-0 lead at 14:14 of the third.

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