Buffalo 8, Toronto 4
Over the years, Buffalo has established a rivalry with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Toronto has not won the Stanley Cup since 1967, let alone make it to the finals. The Sabres were not even around until 1970, so Buffalo fans enjoy the cupless drought for the Leafs.
On January 26th 2006, Buffalo contributed in helping the Leafs suffer its worst slump in nine years.
Steen gave Toronto a 1-0 lead on the power play at 4:08 of the first, but Hecht’s centering pass went off the skate of Toronto’s Jason Allison and past Belfour at 12:38 of the first. Roy’s floating wrist shot beat Belfour on his blocker side with about two minutes left in the period to make it 2-1.
Campbell scored on the power play with a slap shot about three minutes into the second and Toronto fans booed after Vanek scored an unassisted goal on Belfour about 10 seconds later on Buffalo’s 16th shot.
Steen scored on the power play and Alex Ponikarovsky made it 4-3 at 13:17 of the second with a goal after a scramble in front.
Alexander Khavanov cut it to 5-4 with 3:40 left in the second with a shorthanded goal after redirecting Chad Kilger’s centering pass.
Toronto and Buffalo went back and forth, scoring shorthanded, on the power play, and at even strength. With both teams scoring three times in the second period, it was a very interesting game. After two periods of play, the Sabres led 5-4.
Buffalo used the power play to take control of the game. Chris Drury and Thomas Vanek helped give the Sabres a three goal lead. With an empty net, Jay Mckee scored a shorthanded goal with just a second remaining as Buffalo went on to win 8-4.
40-year-old Ed Belfour did not fair too well in between the pipes, but neither did his backup. Belfour stopped 12 of 16 shots on the night. In his relief, Mikael Tellqvist stopped 12 of 17 shots. At the other end of the ice, Ryan Miller recorded a win, stopping 33 of 37 shots.