for this game

Sabres continue hot streak, trounce Maple Leafs

Feb 22, 2008 - 5:06 AM
TORONTO (Ticker) -- The Buffalo Sabres are starting to heat up.

Ales Kotalik scored twice and three others had a goal and an assist apiece as the Sabres posted their 10th win in 14 games with a 5-1 triumph over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday.

Derek Roy and defensemen Brian Campbell and Jaroslav Spacek each netted a goal and set up another while Thomas Vanek collected two assists for Buffalo, which received a 34-save performance from Ryan Miller.

"It was kind of a put-up or shut-up situation," Miller said. "We stepped up and rose to the occasion. It doesn't mean we are in the playoffs yet, it means we are happy with the position we are in and with our effort, especially with the way guys are competing."

Campbell opened the scoring just 2:36 into the first period with a one-timer from the right point that beat goaltender Vesa Toskala to the stick side. It was the first goal in 23 games for the All-Star blue-liner, who has been the subject of trade rumors as the league's deadline approaches.

"I could really help this team," said Campbell, who would prefer to remain in Buffalo. "Tonight, I did that. I tried to be a horse back there."

Spacek doubled the lead early in the second in similar fashion. During a power play, the Czech ripped a one-timer from the right point that sailed past Toskala, who was screened by Vanek, just 59 seconds into the period.

"I tried to feed (Spacek) and get some shots," said Campbell, who set up his defense partner for the goal. "That's huge, especially on the road. Our power play has really struggled this year."

Defenseman Pavel Kubina halved the deficit at 2:48 with a man-advantage goal. Just off the bench on a shift change, Kubina received a pass by All-Star Tomas Kaberle from the defensive zone at Buffalo's blue line and skated in alone, deking Miller to the ice before sliding in a backhander for his fifth goal.

But Kotalik restored the Sabres' two-goal edge at 8:59 with a wrist shot from the top of the left faceoff circle and Roy converted a cross-crease pass from below the right circle less than six minutes later for a power-play tally and a 4-1 bulge.

"I thought we played a pretty good game, but maybe we got caught in the (penalty) box a little too much," Toronto defenseman Anton Stralman said. "They were good at executing on their power play, and that decided the game."

The goal was Kotalik's first in 15 games.

"In the absence of Tim Connolly, we need players to step in and play a bigger role, and that was the big goal for us at that time of the game," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. "Anytime you can get a player back on the scoresheet, it gives him a lot of confidence."

Kotalik completed the scoring with an empty-netter in the final minute of the third.

"I'm happy I got the chance to play with Thomas (Vanek) and Derek (Roy)," the Czech said. "It helped me to score goals and create chances, and that's what a guy like me needed."

Making his 13th consecutive start, Toskala turned aside 18 shots for Toronto, which had won two in a row.

"There weren't that many opportunities to score, but they got pucks through from the point and we didn't," Maple Leafs coach Paul Maurice said. "They made plays to the net that we didn't."






  • 10
    roots
    lpickrell Added 5 roots

    Sabres vs. Maple LeafsFeb 21 9:59 PM


  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUFFALO 1 3 1 5
    TORONTO 0 1 0 1 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: BUF - BRIAN CAMPBELL 5 (JAROSLAV SPACEK, ADAM MAIR) 2:36
    2ND PRD: BUF - (PP) JAROSLAV SPACEK 10 (BRIAN CAMPBELL, DEREK ROY)
    0:59
    TOR - (PP) PAVEL KUBINA 5 (TOMAS KABERLE, VESA TOSKALA) 2:48
    BUF - ALES KOTALIK 15 (THO

    Feb 21 9:59 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 5
    TORONTO 1
    3RD PRD: BUF - (EN) ALES KOTALIK 16 (PAUL GAUSTAD) 19:07

    Sabres vs. Maple LeafsFeb 21 9:58 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUFFALO 1 3 4
    TORONTO 0 1 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: BUF - BRIAN CAMPBELL 5 (JAROSLAV SPACEK, ADAM MAIR) 2:36
    2ND PRD: BUF - (PP) JAROSLAV SPACEK 10 (BRIAN CAMPBELL, DEREK ROY)
    0:59
    TOR - (PP) PAVEL KUBINA 5 (TOMAS KABERLE, VESA TOSKALA) 2:48
    BUF - ALES KO

    Feb 21 9:07 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 4
    TORONTO 1
    2ND PRD: BUF - (PP) DEREK ROY 23 (THOMAS VANEK, JASON POMINVILLE)
    14:49

    Sabres vs. Maple LeafsFeb 21 9:01 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 3
    TORONTO 1
    2ND PRD: BUF - ALES KOTALIK 15 (THOMAS VANEK, TONI LYDMAN) 8:59

    Sabres vs. Maple LeafsFeb 21 8:50 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 2
    TORONTO 1
    2ND PRD: TOR - (PP) PAVEL KUBINA 5 (TOMAS KABERLE, VESA TOSKALA) 2:48

    Sabres vs. Maple LeafsFeb 21 8:37 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 2
    TORONTO 0
    2ND PRD: BUF - (PP) JAROSLAV SPACEK 10 (BRIAN CAMPBELL, DEREK ROY)
    0:59

    Sabres vs. Maple LeafsFeb 21 8:32 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUFFALO 1 1
    TORONTO 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: BUF - BRIAN CAMPBELL 5 (JAROSLAV SPACEK, ADAM MAIR) 2:36
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUF 9 9
    TOR 14 14
    GOALIES: BUF - RYAN MILLER
    TOR

    Feb 21 8:12 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 1
    TORONTO 0
    1ST PRD: BUF - BRIAN CAMPBELL 5 (JAROSLAV SPACEK, ADAM MAIR) 2:36

    Sabres vs. Maple LeafsFeb 21 7:42 PM
  • 5
    roots
    anorexicivan Added 5 roots

    Sabres vs. Maple LeafsFeb 21 6:12 PM