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Antropov, Steen lead Maple Leafs to third straight win

Jan 20, 2008 - 3:48 AM
TORONTO (Ticker) -- With rumors of an impending front-office shakeup circulating, the Toronto Maple Leafs continued their winning ways.

Nik Antropov and Alex Steen each had a power-play goal and an assist and defenseman Ian White set up a pair of tallies as the Maple Leafs posted a 4-2 triumph over the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday.

Alexei Ponikarovsky and Jason Blake also scored and Vesa Toskala made 26 saves for Toronto, which has won three straight contests following a five-game slide.

"It's always nice to win," Antropov said. "We've got three in a row right now."

Just 2:05 into the contest, Antropov converted a pretty tic-tac-toe passing play with captain Mats Sundin and Steen, slipping the puck past goaltender Ryan Miller from the right side of the net for his 18th of the season.

"I laid it a little softer, hoping that Mats was going to one-time it," Steen said. "Then, he spotted Nikky on the far side, so it turned out to be a pretty goal, and Nikky made a good catch with the skate."

Only 34 seconds into the middle period, Steen attempted a pass from along the end line on the right side. But the puck deflected off Sabres All-Star defenseman Brian Campbell's stick and made its way between Miller's legs.

"It was a lucky bounce," Steen admitted. "It was nice."

"As a line, we did pretty good to create some offensive chances," Antropov added. "We were pretty good on the power play as well."

Two minutes later, Ponikarovsky received a pass at the blue line and skated into the left faceoff circle before firing a wrist shot that beat Miller to the glove side for a 3-0 bulge.

Jochen Hecht got Buffalo on the scoreboard with 6:44 remaining in the second and Daniel Paille scored from the high slot nine minutes into the third to make it a one-goal game.

"I was worried about our start," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. "That's why we didn't practice this morning. I thought we got through it, and then for the majority of the last 40 minutes, we carried the play. We owned the third period."

But Blake converted a 2-on-1 rush with 6:46 left, beating Miller to the glove side with a wrister from the right circle to restore Toronto's two-tally advantage.

"Two-on-1s end up in our net this year," Miller said. "This year, we're down on ourselves when we make mistakes and are not able to bring it back as quickly (as last season). The effort is there, and tonight was a good effort, (but) a little too late."

"We knew that when we got a three-goal lead, they would open it up," Steen said. "But Blakey got a nice one off the 2-on-1."

Ales Kotalik recorded his 100th career assist and Miller turned aside 19 shots for the Sabres, who used a 10-goal barrage against the Atlanta Thrashers on Friday to halt a 10-game losing streak.

"We knew we were not going to be able to score that many tonight, but we still got about 30 shots," Paille said. "Unfortunately, we didn't get the win."






  • 15
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    DanSportsfan Added 5 roots

    Sabres vs. Maple LeafsJan 22 11:07 PM
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    Smeltchoker Added 5 roots

    Sabres vs. Maple LeafsJan 19 10:03 PM


  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUFFALO 0 1 1 2
    TORONTO 1 2 1 4 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: TOR - (PP) NIK ANTROPOV 18 (MATS SUNDIN, ALEX STEEN) 2:05
    2ND PRD: TOR - (PP) ALEX STEEN 9 (NIK ANTROPOV, PAVEL KUBINA) 0:34
    TOR - ALEXEI PONIKAROVSKY 13 (HAL GILL, IAN WHITE) 2:37
    BUF - JOCHEN HECHT 16 (CLARKE MACART

    Jan 19 9:32 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 2
    TORONTO 4
    3RD PRD: TOR - JASON BLAKE 9 (IAN WHITE) 13:14

    Sabres vs. Maple LeafsJan 19 9:20 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 2
    TORONTO 3
    3RD PRD: BUF - DANIEL PAILLE 10 (PAUL GAUSTAD, ALES KOTALIK) 9:00

    Sabres vs. Maple LeafsJan 19 9:11 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUFFALO 0 1 1
    TORONTO 1 2 3 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: TOR - (PP) NIK ANTROPOV 18 (MATS SUNDIN, ALEX STEEN) 2:05
    2ND PRD: TOR - (PP) ALEX STEEN 9 (NIK ANTROPOV, PAVEL KUBINA) 0:34
    TOR - ALEXEI PONIKAROVSKY 13 (HAL GILL, IAN WHITE) 2:37
    BUF - JOCHEN HECHT 16 (

    Jan 19 8:39 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 1
    TORONTO 3
    2ND PRD: BUF - JOCHEN HECHT 16 (CLARKE MACARTHUR, BRIAN CAMPBELL)
    13:16

    Sabres vs. Maple LeafsJan 19 8:27 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 0
    TORONTO 3
    2ND PRD: TOR - ALEXEI PONIKAROVSKY 13 (HAL GILL, IAN WHITE) 2:37

    Sabres vs. Maple LeafsJan 19 8:11 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 0
    TORONTO 2
    2ND PRD: TOR - (PP) ALEX STEEN 9 (NIK ANTROPOV, PAVEL KUBINA) 0:34

    Sabres vs. Maple LeafsJan 19 8:09 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUFFALO 0 0
    TORONTO 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: TOR - (PP) NIK ANTROPOV 18 (MATS SUNDIN, ALEX STEEN) 2:05
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUF 4 4
    TOR 6 6
    GOALIES: BUF - RYAN MILLER
    TOR

    Jan 19 7:47 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 0
    TORONTO 1
    1ST PRD: TOR - (PP) NIK ANTROPOV 18 (MATS SUNDIN, ALEX STEEN) 2:05

    Sabres vs. Maple LeafsJan 19 7:15 PM
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    dar54 Added 5 roots

    Sabres vs. Maple LeafsJan 19 2:57 PM