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Toronto at Buffalo

Sabres use power-play unit to beat regional rival Maple Leafs

CBSSports.com wire reports
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BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Tyler Myers added a big chapter to his storybook rookie season.

The 19-year old defenseman scored two of Buffalo's three power-play goals and assisted on the other in the Sabres' 3-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday.

"I'm having the time of my life," said Myers, second among NHL rookies with 26 points. "I was trying pretty hard for that third one, but more importantly we got the win."

The victory -- Buffalo's sixth straight and 10th in a row against Toronto -- was secured by goalie Ryan Miller, who made a career-high 48 saves. Tim Kennedy also scored for Buffalo.

Matt Stajan and John Mitchell scored third-period goals for the Maple Leafs, and Vesa Toskala stopped 28 shots. Toronto has lost four of their last five.

"I really don't like them. They're a rival and they're in our division," said Miller, who has won all 10 games during the Toronto winning streak. "They constantly talk about how they're going to rough me up every night. I love nothing more than to get a win against them and send them an hour-and-a-half on their way."

In the season series, which only has an April 1 meeting in Toronto remaining, Miller has a goals-against average of 1.58 and a .960 save percentage.

Myers scored his fifth and sixth goals from close range against Toskala. On the first, which gave the Sabres a 2-0 lead with 2:21 remaining in the first period, Myers pinched in and took a nice cross-crease pass from Thomas Vanek. The second, 7½ minutes into the second period, was similar, but Tim Connolly's shot drifted wide as Myers charged in for the tip.

Myers became the first Sabres defenseman with a multigoal game since Jaroslav Spacek scored twice at Philadelphia last Feb. 19.

"They're giving me the green light to jump up whenever we have the opportunity," Myers said. "We're moving the puck quickly and more importantly getting the puck to the net."

Kennedy opened the scoring 1:27 before Myers' first tally, wristing a shot past Toskala's short side. Buffalo's first two goals came after Toronto's Rickard Wallin was assessed a double-minor for high-sticking Connolly.

Before that, the Sabres kept the game scoreless as Toronto failed on its first three power plays, the last one coming after Miller was called for roughing Stajan after a goal-crease battle.

"Special teams, right now, that's all we talk about before the game," Toronto coach Ron Wilson said. "I think we're a little bit psyched out."

"We gave ourselves a chance in the first period before we took the four-minute penalty," Mitchell added. "Our penalty kill, it killed us obviously."

Mitchell's goal got Toronto back to a one-goal deficit with 2:43 left, but Miller made four stops after Toronto used an extra attacker.

"I have a lot of comfort in a close game," Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff said. "But the last 10 minutes, I can pick six or seven individuals who turned the puck over for no reason. ... Our goaltending made a couple of big saves to help preserve the win."

Miller, selected to the U.S. Olympic team last week, once again played well against Wilson, who will direct the U.S. team.

Notes

  • Buffalo's 10 straight wins against Toronto tied a franchise mark for longest winning streak against one team. The Sabres beat Washington 10 times in a row between 1981 and 1984.
  • Connolly had two assists to extend his points streak to a career-best eight games.
  • Toronto has given up the first goal in 32 of its 45 games.
  • Toronto C Phil Kessel continued to struggle. In his last 11 games, he has only one goal with no assists and a minus-8 rating.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Tyler Myers is the first Sabres defenseman to score two goals in a game since Feb. 19. (Getty Images)
Tyler Myers is the first Sabres defenseman to score two goals in a game since Feb. 19. (Getty Images)

Scoreboard
Toronto (15-21-9)0022
Buffalo  (28-11-4) «2103
Three Stars
T. Myers
BUF


Goals: 2
Assist(s): 1
R. Miller
BUF


Saves: 48
Save Pct.: .960
T. Connolly
BUF


Goals: 0
Assist(s): 2
Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
17:08Power Play - Tim Kennedy (5), Slap Shot. Assist: Myers, Butler
18:39Power Play - Tyler Myers (5), Wrist Shot. Assist: Vanek, Connolly
2ND PERIOD
07:30Power Play - Tyler Myers (6), Wrist Shot. Assist: Connolly, Butler
3RD PERIOD
02:11Matt Stajan (12), Tip-In. Assist: Schenn, Kulemin
17:17John Mitchell (3), Wrist Shot. Assist: Stempniak, Schenn
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
04:25Connolly, 2 min, Hooking
06:57Lydman, 2 min, Interference
12:02Miller, 2 min, Roughing
16:36Wallin, 2 min, High-Sticking
16:36Wallin, 2 min, High-Sticking
2ND PERIOD
07:06White, 2 min, Hooking
18:50Roy, 2 min, Hooking
3RD PERIOD
None
Shots On Goal
 123T
Toronto18102250
Buffalo1012931
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Vesa Toskala58:17283
Ryan Miller59:57482
Game Information
Attendance - 18690
Referees - Marc Joannette, Justin St. Pierre
Linesmen - Andy McElman, Jean Morin
 
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