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Sabres Clip Leafs, 5-2

by Brian Wheeler / Buffalo Sabres
The Buffalo Sabres special teams unit took full advantage of the new rules instated by the new Collective Bargaining Agreement on Tuesday night. Four different Sabres scored on the man-advantage as Buffalo tied the team's highest power play total for the 2003-04 season and rolled to a 5-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre.

Chris Drury, Jason Pominville, Paul Gaustad and Daniel Briere each scored power play goals while Taylor Pyatt scored the only even-strength goal in the game for either team.

Pominville, who had registered just one assist in three preseason games, was the high scorer in the game with three points (1+2).

In total, 25 penalties were assessed in the game for 70 minutes.

Making his third start in exhibition play, Ryan Miller was solid in net for Buffalo, saving 34 of 36 shots to record the victory. The East Lancing, MI native has allowed just four goals during preseason play and is yet to be defeated.

With the victory, Buffalo moves to 5-1-0-0 during the preseason. The team's next game will be against Dominik Hasek and the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday, September 28 at HSBC Arena. The opening face-off is scheduled for 7:00 PM.

Quick Hitters:
-- Buffalo has now scored four power play goals against the Maple Leafs in two of the last three meetings between the teams.

-- The Sabres' 12 power-play chances was the highest total for the team in more than three years.

-- Taylor Pyatt led the Sabres with four penalties for eight minutes.

-- The Sabres ranked 18th in league during the 2003-04 season in power play percentage converting on 16.3% of the team's opportunities. They converted 30% of their opportunities in the game.

-- Tim Connolly logged more than 22 minutes of ice time in the game to lead the team in that category.

Scoresheet | Super Stats | Faceoff Comp | Play By Play | Shift Chart

0-0 (3:18): Sean McMorrow fights Nathan Perrott in his first shift on the ice. The two wrestle around, McMorrow throws a haymaker that doesn't connect and the two fall to the ground. No clear winner.

1-0 (11:29): Chris Drury slaps in a rebound that banked off Ed Belfour's leg. Jochen Hecht broke into the Leafs zone, beat two defensemen and shoots the puck while driving to the net. Chris Drury collects the rebound off Hecht's shot and stuffs the puck home. The Sabres were on a two-man advantage. Toni Lydman records the second assist.

1-1 (16:34): Chad Kilger's pass across the crease stikes Lydman's skate and deflects into the net past Ryan Miller for the short-handed goal. Miller had made eight saves before allowing the goal. Clarke Wilm is credited with the assist. Buffalo was on the two-man advantage.

Sabres outshoot Toronto 14-9.

2-1 (2:32): Taylor Pyatt swings the puck around the boards to Daniel Briere. Briere waits for a moment and flips the puck to Jason Pominville for the one-timer. It's the first goal of the preseason for Pominville and the second power-play goal in the game for the Sabres.

3-1 (9:44): Paul Gaustad and Maxim Afinogenov breakout on a two-on-one. Gaustad rips a slap shot that beats Belfour on the short side for his first goal in exhibition play. Buffalo is now 3/7 on the power play. Jeff Jillson records his second assist of the preseason on the play.

3-1 (17:45): Gaustad flattens Mats Sundin at the Buffalo blue line. Wade Belak charges Gaustad, and the two tango pretty ferociously before the fight ends when Belak's jersey gets wrapped around his head. Toronto is assessed two minor penalties on Belak (instigator) and Sundin (roughing). Sabres get another 5-on-3 advantage, their third of the game. It was the second time in about two minutes that Gaustad flattened the Leafs' captain.

4-1 (19:30): Daniel Briere rips a shot just inside the post to put Buffalo ahead by three. The goal is Briere's third of the preseason and the fourth power play goal of the game for Buffalo. Pomville and Drury each get a helper.

4-2 (3:47): Mariusz Czerkawski rips a one-timer past Miller on the power play with 16:13 remaining in regulation to decrease Buffalo's lead to two. Toronto is now 1/4 on the power play. The Leafs gained the man-advantage after Pyatt was whistled for interference at 2:09. Aki Berg and Staffan Kronvall record the assists.

5-2 (13:33): Pyatt roofs a puck over Belfour to extend the Sabres' lead to three. The puck barely cleared the crossbar as it hit the top of the net. Belfour had gone down too early on the play. The goal was Pyatt's first of the preseason and the first even-strength goal scored in the game. Pominville records his second assist of the game, while Ryan Miller gets his first.
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