10:07 p.m.: Some quick post-game wrap-up...Big win for the Sabres. Miller 1st star with 35 saves and Gaustad with the GWG. Other updates since Buffalo's game ended, the Habs win in OT 2-1, Boston holds on to win 2-1 and they actually pass the Rangers in the process, at least for now, as they have one more win and two games in hand.
Updated Eastern Conference standings look like so:
1. Ottawa 73 pts (58 GP)
2. Pittsburgh 69 pts (56 GP)
3. Washington 60 pts (58 GP)
4. Montreal 69 points (58 GP)
5. New Jersey 68 pts (57 GP)
6. Philadelphia 65 pts (56 GP)
<b>7. Buffalo 64 pts (57 GP)</b>
8. Boston 63 pts (57 GP)
9. NY Rangers 63 pts (59 GP)
10. Carolina 60 pts (59 GP)
11. Atlanta 60 pts (59 GP)
12. Florida 58 pts (59 GP)
13. NY Islanders 57 pts (57 GP)
14. Toronto 55 pts (58 GP)
15. Tampa Bay 54 pts (57 GP)
Buffalo back in action Saturday at NYR. GO SABRES!
9:56 p.m.: <b>Buffalo 1, Toronto 0 - FINAL!</b> The ending was enough to make any fan go crazy....Sundin fans on the puck, Miller makes a big late save, and the Sabres are just barely able to clear it. Vanek misses a half-ice empty netter with one second left, but he was pressured some and that really matters not....Sabres jump past the NY Rangers by a point for 7th in the East with 2 games still on hand on them. They'll play the Rags on Saturday.
9:55 p.m.: Leafs yank Toskala. 1 minute to play...... I'll update again at the next stoppage.
9:52 p.m.: Miller just made three HUGE saves. He's playing out of his mind tonight! If he doesn't get a shutout, that just ain't right. Time update: there's 1:27 left, and the Leafs just iced it. 50 seconds to go in the Toronto PP.
9:51 p.m.: Just what Dr. Leafs ordered. Brian Campbell, 2 minutes for tripping with 2:37 remaining! You CAN'T take a penalty in that situation. It's the type that makes you shake your head. Lindy shook his.
9:44 p.m.: 5 minutes to go in Buffalo. Elsewhere, it's Thrashers 3, Caps 2 - Final. The Habs have tied Florida; they have three minutes to go in the third. And Evgeni Malkin continues his flight in Sid the Kid's absence, getting Pitt on the board, but is it too little too late? Pens trail Boston 2-1 with 6 minutes to go. Sabres fans watching that game with a keen eye for obvious reasons!
9:36 p.m.: That was an even strength goal for those keeping track at home. Came just seconds after the Tlusty penalty expired. And elsewhere, the Thrashers and Capitals are off to a shootout in Atlanta.
9:34 p.m.: <b>GOAL BUFFALO. 1-0 Sabres with 11:04 left in the third. Paul Gaustad with the goal from Paille and Tallinder. A giveaway by Toskala led to the score.</b>
9:31 p.m.: Of course, as I say that, Tlusty is nailed for hooking. 14:01 left in the game, Sabres back on the PP. Let's see if they can finally crack the goose eggs. Meanwhile, New Jersey has just defeated Ottawa in overtime, 3-2. Rochester native Brian Gionta with the winner.
9:30 p.m.: Sabres killed the Lydman penalty, but since then...Getting chippy. Refs seem to have put their whistles away.
9:25 p.m.: The Sabres had a few chances to start the period, but Lydman is now off for tripping and Toronto will look to finally score the game's first goal with the extra man.
9:07 p.m.: <b>Buffalo 0, Toronto 0 after two</b>
9:02 p.m.: Goaltending continues to be the story on both sides. Toskala and Miller both with some really big saves in this period. But the Sabres are headed on the PP now with 1:19 left in the period - Gill is the culprit for holding.
8:46 p.m.: Sabres kill off the penalty but it's been all Leafs for a while now. Shots are 22-12 Toronto. Miller has been sensational and the story of the game thus far. 10:37 to go in the second.
8:40 p.m.: Leafs with the better chances so far in the second. Dmitri Kalinin is off to the box for hooking and Toronto will have their first chance at a powerplay with 13:51 to go in the period.
8:24 p.m.: Howard Berger on for the first period intermission! Hockeybuzz.com gets a shout-out from Kevin Sylvester. Berger says he doesn't see Sundin moving and to watch for further changes in T.O.
8:13 p.m.: Miller makes 3 big saves in the final seconds of the first. Leafs had some great pressure, but the Sabres escape as the first period horn sounds... <b>Buffalo 0, Toronto 0 after one</b>
8:08 p.m.: Toskala just robbed Kalinin with his right toe!
He's looked sharp so far. Shots 8-6 Buffalo with 4 minutes to go in the first. Elsewhere right now, it's 1-0 Ottawa on NJ, 2-0 Boston on Pittsburgh, and 1-0 Florida on Montreal.
8:06 p.m.: Relatively uneventful game thus far. A few good chances, a few good hits, but other than that, not much. 5 minutes to go in the first...let's see if someone can get on the board here.
7:49 p.m.: Nothing out of that powerplay. But the crowd continues to buzz. The place is ready to explode if either team can put the puck in the net (plenty of Toronto fans, as always).
7:46 p.m.: Buffalo gets the first PP of the game, just 3:40 in. Mats Sundin is knabbed for the penalty. As I watch him skate to the sin bin, I can't help but wonder - will #13 be a Leaf two weeks from now? Personally, I'd love to see him in a Vancouver sweater.
7:39 p.m.: The arena is buzzing, the crowd fired up and ready to go. Yep, the Leafs are in town. Brings back memories of when I saw the Sabres-Leafs at HSBC earlier this year, the 5-4 OT win forever remembered as "McCabe-Scoring-on-his-Goal Night." Here's the video I took of that goal from my Section 116 seats...http://youtube.com/watch?v=EQxsXhJEUsg
Pre-Game Thoughts: The Sabres are looking to pick up at least a point for the 10th straight game, and being at home they looked poised to do it. I have to be honest, I'm a little worried though. Toronto will not roll over in this one! They have nothing to lose and I see this being a battle. Still, I say Sabres 4-3 in OT. We'll see though...