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Leafs head into holiday with win over Sabres

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs
TORONTO (Ticker) -- As unsuccessful as the Toronto Maple Leafs are at HSBC Arena, the Buffalo Sabres are not much better at Air Canada Centre.

Travis Green and Gary Roberts scored second-period goals as the Maple Leafs finished a home-and-home series with a 3-2 victory over the Sabres. Alexander Mogilny added a goal and two assists for the Maple Leafs, who played to a 3-3 tie on Friday at HSBC Arena, leaving them with one win in 16 trips to Buffalo since February 17, 1991.

Meanwhile, the Sabres dropped to 0-6-1 in their last seven visits to Toronto as Green and Roberts scored off rebounds less than eight minutes apart.

"Even though we were down in the game, we were confident and we kept going at them. And we scored when we got our chances," Maple Leafs captain Mats Sundin said.

Red-hot Darcy Tucker had a pair of assists for the Leafs, who improved the Eastern Conference's best home record to 13-5-1. They lost their last game at Air Canada Centre, 3-1, to Los Angeles on Tuesday. Toronto has dropped just two of its last 11 games overall (8-2-1) and is atop the conference standings with 48 points.

"We have four lines going well, and there's not too maany teams that can play the style we do if we roll them over," said Tucker, who has five goals and seven assists during an eight-game points streak. "And we played with a pretty high tempo tonight."

Defensemen James Patrick and Rhett Warrener scored 77 seconds apart in the first period for the Sabres, who are winless in their last four games (0-3-1).

"If we want to grab a hold of eighth place -- that's our only goal right now -- the majority of the damage is going to have to come on the road," said Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff, whose team is 13th in the 15-team East.

Toronto scored the final two goals off rebounds. Green was credited with his fifth of the season 11:48 into the second, when he tapped the puck out of mid-air while skating behind the net following a breakaway by Mogilny.

"I got a piece of it, tried to put it in and it went straight up," said Green, who touched the puck just after Tucker got a stick on it. "And I was lucky enough to put it in."

Roberts gave Toronto a 3-2 lead with 20 seconds left in the period, putting a rebound past goaltender Martin Biron from the left hashmark after a hard slap shot by Sundin.

"We showed patience," Sundin said. "They're a tough team to play. They come out and sit back."

Buffalo did not sit back in the first period as Patrick and Warrener both jumped into the play to make it 2-1 with 5:19 left. It marked the first time since April 2 that two Sabres' defensemen scored in the same game. But Buffalo managed nothing else, finishing with 18 shots -- six in the third period.

"Even though they were down at the end, they didn't really come at us," Sundin said. "They were waiting for mistakes. They're trying to make you frustrated."

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