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Sabres Finish Up 5-Game Home Stand Against Rival Maple Leafs

@ 7:30 PM

Last Game:

Toronto: Dec 13 vs. Hurricanes Win(OT) 2-1

Buffalo: Dec 13 vs. Senators Loss(OT) 3-2

Record:

Toronto: 16-11-3

Buffalo: 15-12-3

Points:

Toronto: 35

Buffalo: 33

Rank In Conference:

Toronto: 6th

Buffalo: 7th

Power Play Ranking:

Toronto: 21.1(4th)

Buffalo: 16.5(T-16th)

Penalty Kill Ranking:

Toronto: 74.1(30th)

Buffalo: 86.4(T-7th)

Goals For:

Toronto: 90(8th)

Buffalo: 79(T-18th)

Goals Against:

Toronto: 94(T-24th)

Buffalo: 81(15th)

Shots For:

Toronto: 854(22nd)

Buffalo: 890(20th)

Shots Against:

Toronto: 916(17th)

Buffalo: 950(23rd)

Blocked Shots:

Toronto: 467(7th)

Buffalo: 361(T-27th)

Hits:

Toronto: 671(14th)

Buffalo: 527(29th)

Faceoff Percentage:

Toronto: 50.4(14th)

Buffalo: 50.9(T-10th)

Team Leaders:

Goals:

Toronto: Kessel(18), Lupul(13), MacArthur(9), Grabovski(7)

Buffalo: Vanek(14), Pominville(10), Adam(9), Roy(7)

Assists:

Toronto: Lupul(21), Kessel(18), Phaneuf(15), Liles(14)

Buffalo: Pominville(22), Vanek(15), Roy(13), Ehrhoff(12)

Points:

Toronto: Kessel(36), Lupul(34), Bozak and Phaneuf(18), Liles(17)

Buffalo: Pominville(32), Vanek(29), Roy(20), Adam(19)

Plus/Minus:

Toronto: Lupul(+6), L. Schenn and T. Connolly(+4), Komisarek(+3), Bozak, Kessel, and Kulemin(+2)

Buffalo: Gragnani(+11), Szczechura, Hecht, Vanek, Leopold, and Gerbe(+4), Sekera and Pominville(+2), Gaustad(+1)

Penalty Minutes:

Toronto: Lupul(32), M. Brown(31), L. Schenn and Komisarek(26), Phaneuf(24)

Buffalo: Gaustad(47), Kaleta(34), Vanek(30), McCormick(29)

Shots:

Toronto: Kessel(107), Lupul(87), Phaneuf(82), Liles(62)

Buffalo: Vanek(98), Pominville(83), Stafford(78), Ehrhoff(72)

Blocked Shots:

Toronto: Gunnarsson(56), Liles(55), Phaneuf(52), L. Schenn(49)

Buffalo: Regehr(48), Sekera(42), Ehrhoff(39), Myers(31)

Hits:

Toronto: L. Schenn(92), Steckel(63), Phaneuf(61), Lupul(39)

Buffalo: Regehr(79), Gaustad(51), Kaleta(45), Gerbe(32)

Face-Off Wins:

Toronto: Steckel(265), Bozak(215), Grabovski(161), T. Connolly(138)

Buffalo: Roy(269), Gaustad(244), Adam and Pominville(90), Hecht(59)

Today’s Starting Goaltender Matchup:

Toronto: James Reimer 5-2-2 2.75 GAA .900 SV% 1 SO

Buffalo:  Ryan Miller 7-6-2 2.81 GAA .912 SV% 1 SO

Notes:

Last Meeting: Mar 29 Maple Leafs Won 4-3

Season Series: Maple Leafs Won 3-2-1

All-Time: Sabres Lead 99-57-22

All-Time vs. TOR: Sabres Lead 58-25-7

Leafs top ‘Canes 2-1 in OT

Tim Connolly finally gave the Toronto Leafs the kind of offensive boost they’ve been waiting for.

Connolly, a free-agent signee this summer who’s been battling injuries all season, scored his second goal of the night 44 seconds into overtime Tuesday to give the Leafs a 2-1 victory against the Carolina Hurricanes.

Connolly got his sixth goal of the season when he shoveled home a loose puck in the crease after Joffrey Lupul’s initial slapper squirted behind Cam Ward, who slammed his stick in disgust after the loss.

“I was just stretching along the far blue line and he did a great job of driving wide and shooting the puck. A lot of times in overtime that’s the best play, just to shoot it on net and then he crashed the net and I was able to pick up the loose change,” said Connolly whose last two-goal game came last Oct. 22 against Ottawa while he was a member of the Buffalo Sabres.

“Ward was doing a good job fronting pucks and stopping pucks, and we knew we were just going to have to grind it out and get a couple of ugly ones and that’s what we were able to do.”

Connolly’s heroics ended a game in which the 19,509 fans who packed the Air Canada Centre watched more than 55 minutes of scoreless hockey.

Connolly finally opened the scoring with 4:14 left in regulation. Clarke MacArthur shook off defenseman Derek Joslin by circling back to the blue line before firing a pass into a crowd to Ward’s right that Connolly deflected into the net.

Leafs coach Ron Wilson likes the depth that Connolly provides the club.

“Over his career, when he is healthy he has been a very good player, and that’s the goal here — to keep him healthy [so] he doesn’t have to play much, he plays 15 or 16 minutes,” Wilson said. “Having him [Mikhail] Grabovski and [Tyler] Bozak in the lineup and playing with different people, we’ve got a little bit of balance in terms of scoring.

http://www.nhl.com/ice/recap.htm?id=2011020438

Cowen’s OT tally lifts Sens past Sabres

On a night that the Ottawa Senators’ best forward took the League lead in goals, it was a pair of defensemen who combined for the decisive tally.

Off a pass from fellow blueliner Erik Karlsson, rookie Jared Cowen netted the winner 45 seconds into overtime Tuesday to complete a 3-2 Ottawa comeback against the Buffalo Sabres at the First Niagara Center – the Sens’ first win in seven matchups.

“I just went to the net and Karlsson saw me, a great pass and I just touched it in there,” Cowen said of his third career goal and first game-winner. “When I was going down, I was thinking it was a gamble, wasn’t sure if I should be there. Obviously it worked out.”

Craig Anderson stopped 27 shots for Ottawa (14-13-4, 32 points), who in addition to the six-game skid against their Northeast Division rivals also snapped a three-game season losing skid. Milan Michalek added a goal – his League-leading 19th of the season – but later left the game after he collided with teammate Erik Karlsson. Sens coach Paul MacLean said Michalek would be re-evaluated when the team returns to Ottawa, where they face Boston on Wednesday.

“He’s a big cog to our team,” Spezza said. “He’s a guy that works hard and makes a difference.”

Goalie Ryan Miller matched a career high with 41 saves, but it wasn’t enough for the Sabres (15-12-3, 33 points), who dropped to 2-5-3 in their last 10 on home ice.

“I’m tired of could-haves,” coach Lindy Ruff said. “It’s how poorly we defended the first goal and how we defended that overtime goal.”

Peter Regin tied it at 7:27 of the third period, when his long slap shot – his windup reached nearly to the Buffalo bench – from the right boards found its way past a heavily screened Miller. The goalie was frustrated with his team’s lack of continuity.

“It feels like it’s a little bit between the ears and the guys need to get that trust,” Miller said. “By the time you think through a situation, it’s gone. Hockey moves too quick. You have to be in the flow and right in the mix of the game.”

http://www.nhl.com/ice/recap.htm?id=2011020437&navid=sb:recap

This Day In Sabres History:

December 16, 2005 Briere and Drury Lead The Sabres To A 4-3 Overtime Win over Pittsburgh

On This Date 6 years ago Chris Drury and Daniel Briere lead the Sabres to a 4-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Teams traded goals back in forth in the 2nd Period Daniel Briere, Jochen Hecht, and Ales Kotalik tallied for the Sabres in the frame. The Penguins got goals from Maxim Ouellette and Ryan Malone. The Sabres would hold a 3-2 lead after the 2nd and for the Majority of the 3rd Period before Ziggy Palffy would tie the game for the Penguins with 2:17 left in the game. Chris Drury would net the winner for the Sabres in the Overtime Period on the Power Play just 1:32 in to give the Sabres the victory. The Win would give the Sabres a 21-10-1 record after 32 Games Played. Martin Biron got the win which was his 10th in a row during an 11 game win streak.

Injury Report:

Toronto: M. Brown Back Surgery(IR/Out), Lombardi Dislocated Shoulder(IR/Out), Komisarek Broken Arm(IR/Out)

Buffalo: Myers Broken Wrist(IR/Out), Boyes Knee(IR/Out), Gerbe Concussion(IR/Out), Leino Lower Body(Out), Tropp Concussion(Questionable), Hecht Lower Body(Questionable), Kaleta Groin(IR/Probable)

Next 5 Games:

Dec 17 at Pittsburgh Penguins 7:00 PM(MSG HD)

Dec 20 at Ottawa Senators 7:30 PM(MSG HD, TSN HD)

Dec 22 at Toronto Maple Leafs 7:00 PM(MSG HD)

Dec 26 vs. Washington Capitals 7:00 PM(MSG HD/NHLN CA)

Dec 28 at New Jersey Devils 7:00 PM(MSG HD)

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