THE AFTERMATH: MAPLE LEAFS 2, SABRES 1
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - Joey Crabb's short-handed goal midway through the third period sparked Toronto's 2-1 win over the Sabres on Wednesday night and snapped the Maple Leafs' seven-game losing streak at Buffalo.
Phil Kessel also scored for Toronto, which hadn't won in Buffalo since Dec. 12, 2008. The Maple Leafs have beaten their Northeast Division rival only twice in 15 meetings.
James Reimer allowed a goal on 15 shots to earn the victory in place of starter Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who spent the final two periods on the bench after sustaining an undisclosed lower body injury. ...more.
Down 1-0 in the third period, Buffalo went on a power play when Jason Pominville drew a hooking penalty from Carl Gunnarsson and were looking to tie the game. Thirty seconds into the man advantage opportunity, Tim Connolly lost the puck just inside the Toronto blue line and Tim Brent was able to poke it past Connolly and Pominville to get it out of the zone. Joey Crabb picked up the loose puck in the neutral zone, eluded a diving Connolly and rushed it up ice into the Buffalo zone. Crabb was able to maintain control as he was challenged by both Jordan Leopold and Connolly and shot it past Miller for the shorthanded goal. Crabb’s goal wound up being the game-winner as Paul Gaustad scored less than two minutes later to make it 2-1, which turned out to be the game's final goal.
Reimer is now 3-0-1 in his last four appearances and improved to 8-4-1 on the season, his first in the NHL.
- Toronto won in Buffalo for the first time since Dec. 12, 2008.
- Ryan Miller was back in net for the Sabres after taking a one-game hiatus Tuesday in Montreal. Prior to that, he had started 31 consecutive games, a streak that started Nov. 26 against Toronto. Tonight, Miller made 28 saves on 30 shots in his return to action.
- Paul Gaustad got Buffalo on the board midway through the third period with his eighth goal of the season.
- Drew Stafford recorded an assist to extend his point streak to three games (4-1-5). Stafford entered tonight’s game with nine goals in his last five games.
- Chris Butler also collected an assist for his first point since Oct. 22.
- Jason Pominville, Jochen Hecht and Nathan Gerbe each had their three-game point streaks snapped.
- Tyler Ennis had one of Buffalo’s best scoring chances early in the game when he came in alone on Giguere and rang a shot off the cross bar.
- Jordan Leopold and Tyler Myers each logged 23:17 of ice time to lead the Sabres while Jochen Hecht registered a team-high six shots on goal.
- Paul Byron and Craig Rivet were Buffalo’s healthy scratches while Steve Montador missed his fifth straight game after suffering from concussion symptoms last week.
- Defenseman Brett Lebda was scratched for Toronto while Colby Armstrong missed his third straight game with an eye injury.
Buffalo will continue its season-long six-game road trip on Friday when they welcome the St. Louis Blues for the first and only meeting between the teams this season. The Blues will be making their first appearance in Buffalo since Nov. 12, 2008 and have enjoyed plenty of success in Buffalo in recent years, going 6-2-2 in their last 10 trips to Western New York. The Blues are led this year by David Backes (20-21-41) and Alexander Steen (16-25-41), who share the team-lead with 41 points apiece. Goaltender Jaroslav Halak, in his first season with the team, has posted four shutouts. Last season, the Sabres traveled to St. Louis on Dec. 27 and left with a 5-3 win as Tim Connolly and Mike Grier each finished with two goals and an assist. Following Friday’s game, the Sabres will host the Washington Capitals on Sunday.