BUFFALO, N.Y. – Tim Connolly scored two goals, including the winner, and the Buffalo Sabres snapped a four-game losing streak with a 5-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday night.

It was the first two-goal game for Connolly, who missed the entire 2003-04 season with a concussion.

Connolly, who also added an assist, scored his second of the game and fourth of the season nearly seven minutes into the third. He made a nifty move inside the Toronto blue line to go around defenseman Ken Klee, and backhanded the puck past goalie Ed Belfour.

Chris Drury, Mike Grier and Thomas Vanek also scored for the Sabres, who won for only the second time in eight games after starting the season 6-2.

Teppo Numminen added three assists for Buffalo.

Alex Steen and Eric Lindros scored for the Maple Leafs, who lost their fourth straight road game.

Connolly opened the scoring 6:46 in, beating Belfour with a wrist shot from the right circle.

Steen answered four minutes into the second with his seventh goal of the season while the Leafs were on the power play. Buffalo goalie Martin Biron tried clearing the puck from behind the net, but Mats Sundin intercepted the attempt in the left corner and immediately fed Steen, who was alone in front.

Toronto entered with the NHL’s top power-play unit on the road, converting on just over 30 percent of its chances.

Sundin has at least one point in all four games he has played since returning from an eye injury.

With a two-man advantage, Buffalo took a 2-1 lead when Drury dove for a loose puck at the bottom of the right circle, lifting it over Belfour at 12:33 of the second. Tomas Kaberle and Nik Antropov were whistled for penalties nearly a minute apart, and Drury made the Maple Leafs pay with 15 seconds remaining in Kaberle’s infraction.

It was Drury’s third goal.

Toronto tied it at 2 less than three minutes later after Lindros scored his team-leading ninth goal, redirecting Chad Kilger’s shot from the left point.

Vanek capped the scoring with an empty-net goal with 12 seconds remaining.

Belfour finished with 25 saves in his second straight start, and is 3-2 in his last five starts.

Biron had 27 saves in making his sixth consecutive start, and fifth since the injury to No. 1 goaltender Ryan Miller. He snapped his three-game losing skid.

Notes: Buffalo D Jay McKee missed his third straight game with a bruised foot. … The Sabres activated D Toni Lydman from the injured list before the game. Lydman missed five games with a groin injury. … The game marked the first time all 23 players on the Maple Leafs roster were healthy. … Buffalo RW Maxim Afinogenov missed his first game with a bruise under his ribs. … The Sabres have won 14 of 21 against Toronto in Buffalo, including the playoffs.

AP-ES-11-11-05 2239EST


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.