Sabres-Leafs: Miller, Timely Scoring, Rake in the Leafs

Robert FischerContributor IFebruary 17, 2009

It looked as though tonight may be one of those nights tonight for the Sabres at Air Canada Centre tonight.  A carryover from a lifeless performance against Carolina on Sunday.

Bad defensive zone play for the first ten minutes of the game seemed to get the Leafs momentum and had the Sabres on their heels. 

But just as it looked as if the Leafs were ready to establish control when Drew Stafford sent a spinning wrister past rookie goaltender Justin Pogge to give the Sabres a 1-0 lead.

This seemed to tilt the ice the remainder of the period as moments later Tim Connolly streaked down the right side and fed Daniel Paille to extend the Sabres advantage.

A rattled Pogge then let a goalline wrister from Chris Ellis streak between his legs to give the Sabres a 3-0 advantage.

It could have been worse in the first for the Leafs as a puck deflected off Jason Pominville and into the net.  The controversial goal was disallowed despite a reverse angle look that showed the puck glance off Pominville's chest and was not directed in by his outstretched elbow.

The second act of this contest was for the most part lackluster until Pavel Kubina sneaked in from his right point position and slammed home a Jason Blake pass to close the gap to 3-1.  This goal came on the power play.

You couldn't help but feel a sense of deja vu while watching the third period as the Leafs once again controlled the action for the first ten minutes.

Unfortunately for Toronto, Ryan Miller was up to the task.  Miller stopped 27 of 28 shots by the Leafs in the contest with several highlight reel saves thrown in the mix.

Toronto's Pogge allowed two questionable goals, both in the first.  After that he calmed down and was solid in net. 

His team however gave him no help in the defensive zone and Stafford's second goal of the night, and fourth for the Sabres, came as several Buffalo players were allowed to stand in the slot and hammer away at the puck.

The only bright spot for Leafs fans came  when Brian Burke was interviewed by Versus.  He said he would make changes.  Go Leafs, go!

Game and Team Notes:

How long must we deal with horrible Versus commentary.  Good news! As Versus so brilliantly reported you can now see Buffalo from Toronto across Lake Ontario.

Max Afinogenov is rumored to be close to a returning.  The Sabres may be forced into insert him in the line-up to entice other teams to make an offer.