Skip to main content

Buffalo Sabres 3, Toronto Maple Leafs 3 FINAL OT

NHL.com @NHL

TORONTO (AP) -- The Toronto Maple Leafs didn't lose the game, but they were forced to rally without one of their star players.

Matt Stajan scored the tying goal with 3:02 left in regulation and the Maple Leafs rallied for a 3-3 tie against the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday night.

Toronto forward Owen Nolan didn't return after Buffalo's Jay McKee high-sticked him in the face early in the first period. Nolan dropped to the ice and kicked his skates. McKee wasn't penalized.

"Apparently, there was blunt trauma to the eye as well as to the cut," said Toronto coach Pat Quinn, who said Nolan was having trouble seeing out of his left eye. "There's no reason to believe that it is real bad, except that he's not seeing things well right now. That indicates the eyeball was probably hit."

Nolan was taken to a hospital for further evaluation.

McKee showed remorse after the game.

"First chance I had, I skated over to their bench and asked Mats Sundin how he was doing. I wanted to make sure I didn't get him in the eye," McKee said. "I felt bad. I sent over an apology in between the first and second period. Hopefully, it's nothing serious."

Sundin said the officials missed the call.

"They must have just looked away. It was obvious for us sitting on the bench. I don't know if they are going to review that," he said.

The eye injury brought bad memories back to the Leafs who were around when Bryan Berard was severely injured in March 2000. Berard, now with Chicago, missed the rest of that season and all of the 2000-01 campaign after being hit in the eye by the stick of Ottawa's Marian Hossa.

"It gave us some flashbacks," Sundin said. "We had the Bryan Berard incident, you don't want to see that."

Down 3-1 in the third period, Sundin scored a power-play goal before Stajan tipped Ken Klee's slap shot past Martin Biron.

Toronto outshot Buffalo 37-16.

"We were the better team out there, but sometimes it doesn't work your way. We're lucky we got a point," Stajan said.

A couple of Sabres thought Stajan kicked the puck in, but Stajan denied it.

"I was trying to get out of the way. I lifted my foot," Stajan said. "They might have thought I was kicking at it, but I don't know how you can kick a shot going that hard. The puck had eyes. It was a nice bounce for our hockey team."

Miroslav Satan, Chris Drury and Rory Fitzpatrick scored second-period goals for the Sabres, who have a point in five of six games.

Biron made 34 saves.

"Stajan kicked it in. It hit the inside of his skate and went in," Biron said.

Klee almost scored with less than a minute left in overtime, but Biron made a kick save.

Sundin and Gary Roberts also scored for the Maple Leafs, who have won just one of four games since earning at least one point in a team-record 16 straight games.

Toronto's Ed Belfour allowed three goals on 16 shots.

Satan, who had a hat trick on Wednesday, scored his 15th goal of the season by putting a rebound past Belfour at 5:01 of the second. Just under two minutes later, Drury's wrist shot hit the camera inside the net to give Buffalo a 2-1 lead.

After Sundin turned the puck over during a Buffalo power play, Fitzpatrick's slap shot trickled through Belfour's pads at 13:53 of the second.

Sundin cut it to 3-2 at 1:48 of the third after Bryan McCabe made a centering pass on the power play.

Sundin made a nice centering pass between two defensemen to Roberts, who gave Toronto a 1-0 lead on the power play at 6:52 of the first.

View More