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Sabres 9-Game Streak Snapped


Hard work finally paid off for the Toronto Maple Leafs against the Buffalo Sabres.

Having lost three games in a row to Buffalo including a 4-1 setback Friday night, the Maple Leafs came back to beat the Sabres 2-1 Saturday night.

"When you've been beaten three times you begin to wonder if you're being outworked," Toronto's Mats Sundin said. "We reacted well and played a good game."

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  • Igor Korolev scored the winning goal on a breakaway at 12:32 of the second period, breaking a 1-1 tie and giving Toronto (10-8-2) sole possession of first place atop the Northeast Division. The Maple Leafs are two points ahead of the Sabres (8-4-4).

    "We worked a lot harder tonight and played a lot better," said Maple Leafs coach Pat Quinn. "They don't give you a lot of room."

    The Maple Leafs, 1-6-3 against the Sabres in 10 previous meetings, have outshot the Sabres in four games this season.

    Mike Johnson also scored for Toronto. Alexei Zhitnik scored for the Sabres, who were 6-0-3 in their previous nine games.

    Curtis Joseph made 17 saves, including a key stop on a hard shot by Geoff Sanderson late in the game.

    Dominik Hasek, who has played all but 20 minutes this season and had a 1.35 goals-against average and .953 save percentage during the Sabres' nine-game streak, faced 31 shots.

    "We had a lot of good chances at the other end," Quinn said. "He leaves a lot of rebounds but you have to get there."

    The Sabres lost for the first time in seven games against division rivals.

    "We didn't attack and they outworked us," said Sabres captain Mike Peca."We thought (during the streak) that it would just be easy for us."

    After falling behind 1-0 on Zhitnik' short-handed goal, the Maple Leafs stormed back in the second period, outshooting the Sabres 14-5.

    Alyn McCauley, who fired wide on two partial breakaways in the first, set up Johnson's goal. Korolev put the Maple Leafs on top for good when he fought off Sabres defenders and slipped the puck past Hasek on the breakaway.

    Sabres defenseman Richard Smehlik injured his right thigh in the first period and did not return.

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