Buffalo at Toronto

Buffalo's win over Toronto vaults it to top of NHL standings


TORONTO -- The Buffalo Sabres ended their rare losing skid and regained the top spot in the NHL.

Daniel Briere, Ales Kotalik and Chris Drury had a goal and assist each, and Sabres held on for a 4-3 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night.

Dmitri Kalinin also scored for the Sabres, who avoided their first three-game losing streak of the season. Buffalo leads the NHL with 63 points, one more than idle Anaheim and 19 ahead of Northeast Division-rival Toronto.

Buffalo has lost consecutive games only twice this season.

"We're not use to losing," Briere said. "Two games for us felt like a long time. Now we'll be able to relax and get back to the same game plan."

Carlo Colaiacovo, Alex Steen and Pavel Kubina scored for the Maple Leafs, who won 10-2 over Boston on Thursday. Toronto is 0-4 this season in games following victories with at least a four-goal margin.

Kubina - who signed a four-year, $20 million contract in the offseason - scored his first goal with Toronto on the power play at 15:28 of the third to cut the Maple Leafs' deficit to 4-3.

The horn to signify a goal went off in the final seconds, but Toronto's John Pohl hit the side of the net despite shooting at a wide-open goal.

"I can't tell you what I said because you wouldn't be able to print it," Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff said. "Somewhere along the lines of holy chaos."

Steen, who had a hat trick on Thursday, trimmed Buffalo's lead to 3-2 with a power-play goal at 12:32 of the second. But Kotalik's wrist shot from the top of the circle made it 4-2 at 18:17.

Fans jeered Toronto goalie Andrew Raycroft when he made his next save. Raycroft replaced Ed Belfour in the offseason as the Leafs' No. 1 goalie and played well at the start of the season. He has struggled lately.

"They are definitely one of the two, three, or four teams skill wise," Raycroft said. "They have four lines that they can roll at you."

Kalinin's one-timer from the top of the circle beat Raycroft at 4:18 of the first. Just 39 seconds later, Drury put a weak wrist shot in traffic past Raycroft.

Colaiacovo's wrist shot cut it to 2-1 at 17:49 of the first, but Briere faked a shot before scoring past a sprawled Raycroft at 3:47 of the second.


  • Buffalo's Andrew Peters didn't return after blocking a shot and limping off the ice midway through the first.
  • Steen had a career-high, five-point game as the Maple Leafs scored nine unanswered goals in the final two periods of Thursday's victory.
  • The teams split the two previous games this season.
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Daniel Briere scores a goal and adds an assist as Buffalo gets its league-leading 63rd point.  (AP)
Daniel Briere scores a goal and adds an assist as Buffalo gets its league-leading 63rd point. (AP)
Buffalo  (30-9-3) «2204
Toronto (19-18-6)1113
Three Stars
C. Drury

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
D. Kalinin

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0
B. Battaglia

Goals: 0
Assist(s): 0

Related Video

Scoring Summary
04:18Dmitri Kalinin (3), Slap Shot - Assists: Jason Pominville, Daniel Briere
04:57Chris Drury (22), Slap Shot - Assist: Ales Kotalik
17:49Carlo Colaiacovo (3), Slap Shot - Assists: Kris Newbury, Matt Stajan
03:47Daniel Briere (16), Backhand Shot - Assists: Thomas Vanek, Maxim Afinogenov
12:53Power Play - Alexander Steen (8), Wrist Shot - Assists: Bryan McCabe, Tomas Kaberle
18:17Ales Kotalik (12), Wrist Shot - Assists: Chris Drury, Paul Gaustad
15:28Power Play - Pavel Kubina, Slap Shot - Assists: John Pohl, Ian White
Penalty Summary
12:08Afinogenov: Cross Check - 2 min.
12:08McCabe: Cross Check - 2 min.
15:21Numminen: Holding - 2 min.
00:52Lydman: Interference - 2 min.
03:50Mair: Fighting - 5 min.
03:50Ondrus: Fighting - 5 min.
04:35Gill: Tripping - 2 min.
07:06Sundin: Hooking - 2 min.
12:18Roy: Holding - 2 min.
12:37Numminen: Holding - 2 min.
18:43Roy: Tripping - 2 min.
20:00Gaustad: Roughing - 2 min.
03:06Briere: Hooking - 2 min.
05:54Sundin: Slashing - 2 min.
10:44Newbury: Slashing - 2 min.
13:42Drury: Holding - 2 min.
19:02O'Neill: Slashing - 2 min.
Martin Biron60:00323
Andrew Raycroft58:15254
Game Information
Attendance - 19487
Referees - Tom Kowal, Chris Lee
Linesmen - Jean Morin, Dan Schachte
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