for this game

Hecht, Pominville lead another high-powered attack for Sabres

Mar 16, 2008 - 3:08 AM
TORONTO (Ticker) -- The Buffalo Sabres have gone from a desperate team to one that cannot stop scoring.

Jochen Hecht and Jason Pominville each had a goal and two assists as the Sabres cruised to 6-2 victory over the shorthanded Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday.

Ales Kotalik, Drew Stafford, Daniel Paille and defenseman Henrik Tallinder also scored for Buffalo, which has won its last two games by a combined score of 13-3. It posted a 7-1 triumph over Carolina on Friday.

Paul Gaustad chipped in two assists for the Sabres (34-28-11), who climbed within one point of the Philadelphia Flyers (35-27-10) for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

"Every point is important," Hecht said. "Every game is going to be bigger from now on. We can't afford to give away points."

Ryan Miller stopped 30 shots for Buffalo, which went 0-2-2 in four games prior to Friday's win.

"Last night, we started early in the game, we felt good," Miller said. "Tonight, we got it going early. It was a good continuation."

In this one, the Sabres took advantage of a Maple Leafs team that was playing without its top two scorers. Captain Mats Sundin sat out with a groin injury and Nik Antropov left in the first period with a knee ailment.

Antropov, who tried to return but was unable to, has swelling in his knee and is day-to-day.

"It was difficult to manage there, when we lost Nikky so early in the game after Mats going down," Toronto coach Paul Maurice said. "I think it showed in puck movement and sharpness in the offensive zone."

Kotalik, Stafford and Hecht all scored in the opening period as the Sabres carried a 3-1 lead into the third.

Toronto cut the deficit to 3-2 when Jiri Tlusty poked in a rebound from the left side of the net at 7:29 of the third. But Pominville restored the two-goal lead at 11:36 as he took a pass from Gaustad on the right side of the crease and tapped it past out-of-position goaltender Vesa Toskala.

"You never want to give up a goal right after you get one," Pominville said. "It's a momentum-swinger."

Paille netted his 18th goal of the season with 5:05 remaining to make it 5-2.

"I believe it was a 3-on-3," Paille said. "I just went to the net, Jochen shot it, it hit the D-man, went off my shin pad and I got it in the air with my stick."

Tallinder provided the final margin with an empty-netter with 2:15 to go as Toskala was pulled for an extra attacker by the Maple Leafs, who had gone 9-3-1 in their previous 13 games.

Kotalik opened the scoring at 7:06 of the first with a power-play tally, the 100th goal of his career. Toronto defenseman Ian White knotted the game at 1-1 with his fifth of the season with 6:21 left in the opening period.

Hecht made it 2-1 with his 19th just 45 seconds later, and Stafford doubled the advantage with his 15th goal just 3:17 later.

Toskala stopped 14 shots for Toronto (32-31-10), which trails Philadelphia by seven points.

"You just regroup and get ready for the next game," Maple Leafs left wing Alexei Ponikarovsky said. "Anything can happen at this point."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUFFALO 3 0 3 6
    TORONTO 1 0 1 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: BUF - (PP) ALES KOTALIK 22 (DEREK ROY, JASON POMINVILLE)
    7:06
    TOR - IAN WHITE 5 (JASON BLAKE, ALEX STEEN) 13:39
    BUF - JOCHEN HECHT 19 (JASON POMINVILLE, PAUL GAUSTAD) 14:24
    BUF - DREW STAFFORD 15 (PATRICK KALETA) 17:

    Mar 15 9:33 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 6
    TORONTO 2
    3RD PRD: BUF - (EN) HENRIK TALLINDER 1 (UNASSISTED) 17:45

    Sabres 6, Maple Leafs 2  3rd - 2:15Mar 15 9:29 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 5
    TORONTO 2
    3RD PRD: BUF - DANIEL PAILLE 18 (JOCHEN HECHT) 14:55

    Sabres 5, Maple Leafs 2  3rd - 5:05Mar 15 9:23 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 4
    TORONTO 2
    3RD PRD: BUF - JASON POMINVILLE 24 (PAUL GAUSTAD, JOCHEN HECHT) 11:36

    Sabres 4, Maple Leafs 2  3rd - 8:24Mar 15 9:15 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 3
    TORONTO 2
    3RD PRD: TOR - (PP) JIRI TLUSTY 6 (ALEX STEEN, TOMAS KABERLE) 7:29

    Sabres 3, Maple Leafs 2  3rd - 12:31Mar 15 9:08 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUFFALO 3 0 3
    TORONTO 1 0 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: BUF - (PP) ALES KOTALIK 22 (DEREK ROY, JASON POMINVILLE)
    7:06
    TOR - IAN WHITE 5 (JASON BLAKE, ALEX STEEN) 13:39
    BUF - JOCHEN HECHT 19 (JASON POMINVILLE, PAUL GAUSTAD) 14:24
    BUF - DREW STAFFORD 15 (PATRIC

    Mar 15 8:37 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUFFALO 3 3
    TORONTO 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: BUF - (PP) ALES KOTALIK 22 (DEREK ROY, JASON POMINVILLE)
    7:06
    TOR - IAN WHITE 5 (JASON BLAKE, ALEX STEEN) 13:39
    BUF - JOCHEN HECHT 19 (JASON POMINVILLE, PAUL GAUSTAD) 14:24
    BUF - DREW STAFFORD 15 (PATRIC

    Mar 15 7:47 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 3
    TORONTO 1
    1ST PRD: BUF - DREW STAFFORD 15 (PATRICK KALETA) 17:41

    Sabres 3, Maple Leafs 1  1st - 2:19Mar 15 7:43 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 2
    TORONTO 1
    1ST PRD: BUF - JOCHEN HECHT 19 (JASON POMINVILLE, PAUL GAUSTAD) 14:24

    Sabres 2, Maple Leafs 1  1st - 5:36Mar 15 7:36 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 1
    TORONTO 1
    1ST PRD: TOR - IAN WHITE 5 (JASON BLAKE, ALEX STEEN) 13:39

    Sabres 1, Maple Leafs 1  1st - 6:21Mar 15 7:34 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 1
    TORONTO 0
    1ST PRD: BUF - (PP) ALES KOTALIK 22 (DEREK ROY, JASON POMINVILLE) 7:06

    Sabres 1, Maple Leafs 0  1st - 12:54Mar 15 7:24 PM