Saturday, January 9, 2010

Buffalo Wins 6th Straight With 3-2 Win over Leafs

The Buffalo Sabres continued their winning ways Friday night when they defeated their long time nemesis Toronto Maple Leafs at HSBC Arena by the score of 3-2. With the win, Buffalo now stands just one point out of the top spot in the Eastern Conference. Tyler Myers added a big chapter to his storybook rookie season. The 19-year old defenseman scored two of Buffalo's three power-play goals and assisted on the other in the Sabres' 3-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday night. "I'm having the time of my life," said Myers, second among NHL rookies with 26 points. "I was trying pretty hard for that third one, but more importantly we got the win."

The victory - Buffalo's sixth straight and 10th in a row against Toronto - was secured by goalie Ryan Miller  as the Michigan State product made a career-high 48 saves. South Buffalo native Tim Kennedy also scored for Buffalo. Matt Stajan and John Mitchell scored third-period goals for the Maple Leafs, and Vesa Toskala stopped 28 shots. Toronto has lost four of their last five.

"I really don't like them. They're a rival and they're in our division," said Miller, who has won all 10 games during the Toronto winning streak. "They constantly talk about how they're going to rough me up every night. I love nothing more than to get a win against them and send them an hour-and-a-half on their way."
In the season series, which only has an April 1 meeting in Toronto remaining, Miller has a goals-against average of 1.58 and a .960 save percentage.

Myers scored his fifth and sixth goals from close range against Toskala. On the first, which gave the Sabres a 2-0 lead with 2:21 remaining in the first period, Myers pinched in and took a nice cross-crease pass from Thomas Vanek. The second, 7 1/2 minutes into the second period, was similar, but Tim Connolly's shot drifted wide as Myers charged in for the tip.

Myers became the first Sabres defenseman with a multigoal game since Jaroslav Spacek scored twice at Philadelphia last Feb. 19. "They're giving me the green light to jump up whenever we have the opportunity," Myers said. "We're moving the puck quickly and more importantly getting the puck to the net." Kennedy opened the scoring 1:27 before Myers' first tally, wristing a shot past Toskala's short side. Buffalo's first two goals came after Toronto's

NOTES: Buffalo's 10 straight wins against Toronto tied a franchise mark for longest winning streak against one team. The Sabres beat Washington 10 times in a row between 1981 and 1984. ... Connolly had two assists to extend his points streak to a career-best eight games. ... Toronto has given up the first goal in 32 of its 45 games. ... Toronto C Phil Kessel continued to struggle. In his last 11 games, he has only one goal with no assists and a minus-8 rating.

Taken from the Associated Press report