Around the dial

'Empire's new deal with the Sabres has a new twist this season. Empire is paying a rights fee and keeping all the advertising revenue. In years past, Empire and the Sabres had a joint sales agreement and shared the advertising revenue.'

Three minutes, four goals on Belfour

'Belfour — the former Stanley Cup-winning goalie chosen by the Maple Leafs to replace Curtis Joseph — looked more like a beer-league refuge while allowing four goals in a 2:36 stretch in the game's early moments; the first three eluding him in a span of 51 seconds. He was far from the lone culprit wearing blue and white, as practically the entire Toronto roster once again seemed unprepared to compete at even the most fundamental level.'

Belfour hardly steady Eddie

Ed Belfour stopped the first shot he faced last night. He got something in front of the first few actually. It was the seventh, eighth, ninth and 10th ones that gave him trouble. Those and his own defence.

Late Leafs lose it early

Belfour looked shaky on at least two of those goals, but there was plenty of blame to go around. The Leafs appeared to have left their games behind at the U.S. customs office at the Peace Bridge, and the Sabres were more than willing to take advantage.

Sabres still in a hole lot of trouble

That has not stopped the Sabres from trying. Far from it. The team holds open practises every Tuesday. Meet the player functions are common. Whatever it takes.

Sabres 5, Maple Leafs 2

'Carlo Colaiacovo and Mikael Renberg scored for the Maple Leafs, who arrived less than an hour before the game because of delays at the Buffalo border crossing.'

Buffalo 5, Toronto 2

'The Buffalo Sabres scored on four straight shots against Ed Belfour in a 2:36 span of the first period and coasted to a 5-2 preseason victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs.'

Adelphia mess in Buffalo cuts season tickets by 2,000

'By necessity, Regier is Buffalo's general manager, head salesman, business director, chief cook and bottle washer.'

Trio impress Ruff

'Unfortunately Tom Askey and Henrik Tallinder will start the season with the Rochester Americans of the AHL, while Derek Roy will be sent back to Kitchener of the OHL.'

Goalie sharp against Sabres

'Leaf management had to be particularly delighted with the play of Tellqvist and Centomo, the closest things they have to goalies of the future at the moment. Tellqvist stopped all 13 shots he faced and while Centomo allowed three on 26 shots, none of them were cheap and two came in the last two minutes when the Sabres had their goalie out of the net.'

Nervous Roy impresses again

'The only junior player in the Buffalo Sabres' lineup for Wednesday's preseason game with the Maple Leafs, the 19-year-old center felt the weight of his first NHL start, even if the contest didn't count.'

State takes a shift for the Sabres

'New York State's creative effort to boost the sales of Buffalo Sabres season tickets, a vital part of efforts to sell the team and keep it in Buffalo, should go neither unnoticed nor unthanked.'

Luxury of two-goal lead proves too rich for Leafs

'Buffalo may not be stocked with high-priced talent, but the players they do have functioned well enough against the Maple Leafs.'

Backup goalie doing all that Sabres ask

'Only a total flameout by Biron or Noronen would prompt a change in the pecking order. Or a sensational camp by Askey, which is what he has had so far.'

Tellqvist to rescue

The Sabres outshot the Leafs 31-10 after the first period en route to a 39-26 margin for the game.