January 3, 2003
GAME: Buffalo Sabres (16-19-3-1) at Toronto Maple Leafs (21-8-7-3).
TIME: Saturday, 7 p.m. EST, CBC
The Toronto Maple Leafs lead the Northeast Division, but it is the Buffalo Sabres that have been playing like a first-place team of late.
The Maple Leafs hope to snap back into form as they host the surging Sabres at the Air Canada Centre.
Toronto is 0-2-1 since earning at least one point in a team-record 16 straight games, while the last-place Sabres have won four of five since an eight-game winless streak.
"That's just not the way our club should be playing, and we had better shape it up," Maple Leafs coach Pat Quinn said. "We're hopers right now. We hope everything goes our way."
The Maple Leafs have earned at least a point in 13 of their 15 home games this season (10-2-1-2).
Toronto is coming off a 3-2 loss at Boston on Thursday.
Matthew Stajan and Gary Roberts scored for the Leafs, and Mats Sundin added an assist for his only point in the last three games.
"Even though we came close, we still have a long way to go," said Sundin, the Leafs' captain. "When you're not playing well, the bounces don't go your way."
Following their 7-1 home victory over Washington on Wednesday, the Sabres beat the defending Western Conference champion Anaheim Mighty Ducks 5-2 on Friday.
Buffalo has won two in a row, outscoring its opponents 12-3.
Miroslav Satan and Daniel Briere scored for Buffalo on Friday, and Curtis Brown, Chris Drury and Dmitri Kalinin each had a goal and an assist.
Satan, who had a hat trick Wednesday, has eight points in his last five games.
He has 18 career assists against Toronto, his most against any team.
-- Associated Press