Sabres 6, Maple Leafs 0

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BUFFALO, N.Y. – Ryan Miller made 31 saves for his first shutout of the season in the Buffalo Sabres’ 6-0 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Sunday.

Chris Drury scored twice and Brian Campbell had a goal and two assists in the playoff-bound Sabres’ regular-season home finale. Paul Gaustad added a goal and assist, while Thomas Vanek and Jason Pominville also scored to extend Buffalo’s winning streak to four.

Miller was particularly sharp in the second period, stopping 16 shots to register his second career shutout. It was also the Sabres’ first shutout of the season, Buffalo entering the day with Colorado as the only two teams not to record a shutout this season.

The Maple Leafs lost in regulation for the first time in 11 games (8-1-2), coming out flat a day after being eliminated from playoff contention. Leafs captain Mats Sundin had an 11-game point streak snapped, and Toronto finished 0-4 at Buffalo this season.

Buffalo took control early, scoring goals on consecutive shots to take a 2-0 lead 3 minutes in.

Campbell scored when his point shot knuckled over Mikael Tellqvist’s right shoulder. Drury scored on a power play when he drove out of the left corner and, as he was tripped, wrapped a shot around Tellqvist inside the far post.

With Drury’s goal, the Sabres set a franchise record by scoring at least one power-play goal in 60 games. The previous record of 59 games was set in 1991-92.

Gaustad and Pominville then scored on consecutive shots 39 seconds apart late in the second period. Drury and Vanek then completed the surge with third-period goals.

After facing only four shots in the first period, Miller was busy in the second.

Among Miller’s best stops came when he held his ground to foil Jeff O’Neill set up in front by Matt Stajan. He was also fortunate when Kyle Wellwood backhanded a shot through the crease, the puck dribbling along the goal line behind Miller. Gaustad then tied up Darcy Tucker, preventing the forward from getting to the loose puck.

Maxim Afinogenov had two assists to extend his point streak to seven games. He has three goals and 11 assists over that stretch.

Notes: The Sabres, locked in fourth place in the Eastern Conference, still don’t know who their first-round playoff opponent will be. The New York Rangers, Philadelphia and New Jersey each have one game left and any one could finish fifth. … Tucker was booed every time he touched the puck, becoming a target after a knee-on-knee collission with Sabres C Jochen Hecht in the teams’ previous meeting. Hecht was hurt on the play and Sabres coach Lindy Ruff questioned why Tucker wasn’t penalized. … Leafs C Nik Antropov did not return after limping to the dressing room with 4 minutes left in the first period.

AP-ES-04-16-06 1943EDT

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