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Crabb, Reimer lead Leafs over Sabres

Feb 17, 2011 - 6:30 AM
Buffalo, NY (Sports Network) - Joey Crabb's shorthanded goal in the third period proved to be the game-winner, as the Toronto Maple Leafs held on for a 2-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres.

Phil Kessel also scored for Toronto, while James Reimer took over for the injured Jean-Sebastien Giguere and made 14 saves in two periods for the victory.

The Maple Leafs beat the Sabres for only the second time in their last 15 meetings and won in Buffalo for the first time since December 12, 2008. They won for the fourth time in their last six games overall.

Paul Gaustad scored for Buffalo and Ryan Miller took the loss after allowing both Toronto goals on 30 shots.

The Sabres, starting a season-long six-game homestand, lost for just the second time in their last six contests.

"Their energy was better than ours," said Buffalo head coach Lindy Ruff.

Giguere played only 20 minutes, leaving the game with a lower body injury after stopping all nine shots he faced in a scoreless first period. He missed two stretches earlier this season because of a groin injury.

Kessel gave the Maple Leafs a 1-0 lead 4:36 into the second period after Tomas Kaberle flipped him a pass in the slot and he beat Miller with a snap shot through traffic.

Miller made a point-blank save on a charging Joffrey Lupul early in the third period, preserving Buffalo's one-goal deficit.

Later, with Toronto on a two-man advantage, the puck slipped through Miller and was drifting toward the goal line when Sabres forward Tim Connolly reached his stick back and secured it against the goaltender's skate.

"We did a good job on the 5-on-3. We put ourselves in a bad spot but we got through it," said Ruff, who was otherwise frustrated by his team's effort. "We didn't generate enough. You gotta give them credit. They did a good job of stuffing us up."

Crabb made it a 2-0 game with a terrific solo effort, gaining possession after a turnover near the right boards and taking it himself despite being sandwiched by Buffalo's Jordan Leopold and Thomas Vanek.

"I blacked out for a little bit there," Crabb joked about the play, which ended with him crashing into Miller while burying a shot into the right side of the net at the 8:29 mark.

Gaustad scored less than two minutes later, beating Reimer inside the left post, but the Sabres weren't able to find the equalizer.

Game Notes

Miller returned after getting a rare rest on Tuesday. The reigning Vezina winner had started 31 straight games before that...Buffalo's homestand will also include visits from the Blues, Capitals, Thrashers, Senators and Red Wings.