Skip to main content


Sabres try to keep rolling vs. Leafs

by John Kreiser /
MAPLE LEAFS (24-27-6) at SABRES (27-22-6)


Last 10 -- Toronto 5-4-1; Buffalo 7-2-1

Season series -- It's the fourth of six meetings, and the Leafs are still looking for their first victory. Buffalo has won all three, including a 6-2 win at HSBC Arena on Feb. 5

Big story -- The Leafs have played well since the break, but they're meeting one of the hottest teams in the NHL. Buffalo made up a 2-0 deficit in regulation and another in the shootout for a 3-2 victory at Montreal on Tuesday that moved the Sabres into ninth in the East, just two points behind eighth-place Carolina with two games in hand. A win and a regulation loss by the Hurricanes will put the Sabres into the top eight in the East.

Team Scope:

Maple Leafs -- Phil Kessel and Mikhail Grabovski had the last laughs in Tuesday's 4-3 win at Boston. Kessel, a former Bruin who's booed relentlessly in Boston, scored his first two goals against his old team, including the tying tally late in the third period. That set the stage for Grabovski, who survived a huge hit by Zdeno Chara in the first period and scored his second of the night with 1:01 left in regulation for the winner -- going end to end before whipping a wrister past Tim Thomas from the left circle.

"Grabo was getting hit by everybody on their team and he ended up scoring a great goal - his retribution was to score," Toronto coach Ron Wilson said.

Sabres -- After 31 consecutive starts, Ryan Miller got the night off on Tuesday -- and saw rookie Jhonas Enroth put on a show. Enroth stopped 32 shots in regulation and seven more in the shootout as the Sabres scored twice to force overtime, then rallied from 2-0 down to win the shootout in 10 rounds on a goal by Jochen Hecht.

Enroth was recalled from AHL Portland after Sunday's 7-6 loss to the Islanders and got the start over backup Patrick Lalime. He has three NHL victories -- all via shootout.

"I thought he did a great job," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. "That's the reason that he's been down there trying to develop and playing games, and the reason he's here is because of how hard he worked in Portland. We knew that it was going to get to a point where he was going to get an opportunity to play and he came up and proved that he can be a capable NHL goaltender."

Who's hot -- Grabovski has 3 goals and 5 points in his last five games. He leads the Leafs with 24 goals. … Sabres forward Drew Stafford scored again on Tuesday and has 9 goals in his last five games.

Injury report -- Colby Armstrong (eye) is still day-to-day for the Leafs, while Mike Brown (upper body) and Colton Orr (head) are out. … Sabres defenseman Steve Montador (concussion symptoms) is about ready to return. Center Derek Roy is gone for the season with a leg injury.

Stat pack -- Buffalo may be the shortest trip on Toronto's schedule, but it's far from the friendliest stopover. The Leafs have lost their last seven visits, and the Sabres are 58-24-6-1 all-time against the Leafs in Buffalo. Overall, the Sabres are 29-9-1 against the Leafs since 2005-06. … Miller went 18-9-3 with three shutouts during his 31-game streak, which ran from Nov. 26 through Sunday. The Sabres are 13-5-2 since Roy, their top scorer, was lost for the season.

Puck drop -- Expect Miller to be back in goal for the Sabres, who are hoping that giving him a full night off -- he didn't even dress for the game in Montreal -- will help him bounce back from giving up seven goals to the Islanders on Sunday.

"Ryan plays a lot of games," forward Jason Pominville said. "He wants to play every game. He's a competitor and he wants to be out there and help this team, but at the same time we're all aware that he needs rest and hopefully it will help him out -- and, at the end of the day, just benefit the team."

View More

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.