for this game

O'Neill's two goals lift Maple Leafs over Sabres

Jan 12, 2007 - 7:30 AM
BUFFALO, New York (Ticker) -- Jeff O'Neill did his part to help the Toronto Maple Leafs get back in the win column.

O'Neill scored two goals and captain Mats Sundin added a pair of assists as the Maple Leafs halted a brief two-game skid with a 4-2 triumph over the Buffalo Sabres.

The win avenged a 4-3 home loss to Buffalo on Saturday.

"I like the way we play against this team," Maple Leafs coach Paul Maurice said. "I think we compete against them. It's funny, one year you can't win a game in the building, and the next year you feel good going in there."

"We knew it was a big game for us considering our last two disappointing efforts against these guys and Carolina," added Toronto defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo, who had two assists. "We played good enough to win, but we didn't get the win. Tonight, we weren't going to let anything get in our way. We prepared ourselves right from the start. We carried the momentum for each period, and we found a way to win."

After a scoreless first period, O'Neill gave Toronto the lead just 21 seconds into the middle session, when he redirected a pass from Sundin at the corner of the crease past goaltender Martin Biron.

Alex Steen snapped a 2-2 tie with his fifth goal in four games 5 1/2 minutes into the third before O'Neill struck again at 10:22, giving the Maple Leafs a 4-2 lead when he snapped a shot from the slot over Biron's glove.

"I thought tonight was a real strong effort," O'Neill said. "Our goalie played great and we had some opportunistic goals. That usually adds up to a victory."

Defenseman Pavel Kubina also scored and Andrew Raycroft made 22 saves for Toronto. Kubina, who has just two tallies in 29 games this season, netted his first in the loss to Buffalo on Saturday.

"I never had a stretch like that without a goal for 26 games," Kubina said. "I remember I had some stretches before, 17 games I think was the longest. I was happy to get a goal again."

Thomas Vanek and Chris Drury each scored their 23rd goal of the season on the power play for Buffalo, which lost for the third time in five contests.

"We didn't play tight enough," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. "We allowed some situations that we don't normally allow, but I think when your legs aren't going, your hands aren't very good. We hesitated, and we turned over too many pucks. We had a lot of brain cramps out there tonight."

"They were a little bit more desperate than we were," added Buffalo co-captain Daniel Briere, whose team won at Chicago on Wednesday. "Sometimes playing back-to-back, it's tough. I don't want to make excuses, but we should have been a little better. We didn't have the same jump that we usually have. Right off the bat, they came out hard. We sat back on our heels. We have to forget about it and move on."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TORONTO 0 2 2 4
    BUFFALO 0 1 1 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: TOR - JEFF O'NEILL 14 (MATS SUNDIN) 0:21
    BUF - (PP) THOMAS VANEK 23 (DANIEL BRIERE, JAROSLAV SPACEK)
    6:01
    TOR - (PP) PAVEL KUBINA 2 (CARLO COLAIACOVO, JOHN POHL)
    15:42
    3RD PRD: BUF - (PP) CHRIS DRURY 2

    Jan 11 9:36 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 4
    BUFFALO 2 3:50 LEFT, 3RD PRD

    Maple Leafs vs. SabresJan 11 9:27 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 3
    BUFFALO 2
    3RD PRD: TOR - ALEX STEEN 9 (CARLO COLAIACOVO) 5:20

    Maple Leafs vs. SabresJan 11 9:05 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 2
    BUFFALO 2
    3RD PRD: BUF - (PP) CHRIS DRURY 23 (DEREK ROY, PAUL GAUSTAD) 2:49

    Maple Leafs vs. SabresJan 11 9:01 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TORONTO 0 2 2
    BUFFALO 0 1 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: TOR - JEFF O'NEILL 14 (MATS SUNDIN) 0:21
    BUF - (PP) THOMAS VANEK 23 (DANIEL BRIERE, JAROSLAV SPACEK)
    6:01
    TOR - (PP) PAVEL KUBINA 2 (CARLO COLAIACOVO, JOHN POHL)
    15:42
    SHOTS ON GOAL:

    Jan 11 8:38 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 2
    BUFFALO 1
    2ND PRD: TOR - (PP) PAVEL KUBINA 2 (CARLO COLAIACOVO, JOHN POHL) 15:42

    Maple Leafs vs. SabresJan 11 8:33 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 1
    BUFFALO 1
    2ND PRD: BUF - (PP) THOMAS VANEK 23 (DANIEL BRIERE, JAROSLAV SPACEK)
    6:01

    Maple Leafs vs. SabresJan 11 8:12 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 1
    BUFFALO 0
    2ND PRD: TOR - JEFF O'NEILL 14 (MATS SUNDIN) 0:21

    Maple Leafs vs. SabresJan 11 8:01 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TORONTO 0 0
    BUFFALO 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TOR 5 5
    BUF 10 10
    GOALIES: TOR - ANDREW RAYCROFT
    BUF - MARTIN BIRON

    Jan 11 7:42 PM