No matter how bad this Sabres team can get this season and no matter if the team can't beat the top four teams in the Eastern Conference, the Sabres can still beat the Maple Leafs. The Sabres get a 6-2 victory over the Maple Leafs on Saturday night at HSBC Arena. Drew Stafford had two goals and an assist while Thomas Vanek had one goal and two assists.
The Sabres started the game with two early goals, the first coming from Jason Pominville at 3:31 and the second from Drew Stafford at 5:52 of the first period. This scenario played out like the Penguins game on Friday night but the Sabres were able to continue the scoring pace in the second period.
The Sabres scored three goals in the second period, one each from Paul Gaustad, Tim Connolly, and another from Stafford. The Maple Leafs were able to score one on Miller in the period from Nikolai Kulemin, shorthanded. The third period was a relatively uneventful period with both teams trading goals. Toronto scored on a screened shot from Francois Beauchemin while Thomas Vanek scored on a breakaway later in the period.
The Sabres played a complete game against the Leafs unlike their last game against the Penguins. The Sabres special teams was very good as the powerplay went 2/4 and gave up a shorthanded goal while the penalty kill went 3/3. The Sabres special teams have been improving as the season has grown and the powerplay is now one of the top 10 in the league.
The Sabres are now five points back of the 8th place Carolina Hurricanes and 9th place Atlanta Thrashers, with the 4-3 Hurricanes overtime victory. The Sabres still have two games in hand on the Hurricanes and four games in hand on the Thrashers. While the Sabres could make the playoffs beating up on teams like the Leafs, they need to find a way to close out games against teams like the Penguins and Lightning.
For those of you that missed the game, here are the highlights below:
The Sabres play again on Tuesday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning and then again on Thursday against the Florida Panthers.