Sabres shift out of focus in road loss

‘"It’s definitely not the way we want to play," said Pominville, the right winger who reached the 20-goal mark for the fifth straight season. "We want to be disciplined, and it’s tough to accept. We’ve taken a lot of pride in it lately, but I think discipline isn’t only penalties, it’s our system. We had a lot of breakdowns. I don’t know how many two-on-ones we gave up. We gave up way too many two-on-ones, and those are Grade A scoring chances."’

Miller laments one that got away

‘Buffalo hardly looked like a team looking to clinch a playoff spot in the final seven games and possibly ascend to seventh, maybe even sixth. Instead, the Sabres played more like the team that had struggled during the first half of the season. Their defense was loose. They surrendered too many odd-man rushes. Their forwards failed to convert. They took silly penalties. Their goaltending wasn’t good enough.’

Rangers, Sabres looking to move up standings

‘"We’ve got ourselves in a situation where if we put a nice little run together we can move up the standings," Ruff said.’

Leafs have Miller’s number

‘Thanks to a 4-3 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday, the Leafs have now beaten Miller three consecutive times in the past six weeks. Yes, this is the same Ryan Miller who, prior to his modest losing streak versus Toronto, had a career record of 24-8 against the Leafs.’

Wednesday’s Toronto Coverage

Leafs down Sabres, keep hopes alive (Toronto Sun)

Leafs’ Wilson: “Finish strong” (Toronto Sun)

Kadri is getting better all the time (Toronto Sun)

Leafs have Miller’s number (Toronto Sun)

Desperate Leafs still in hunt after thrilling 4-3 win over Sabres (Toronto Star)

Once-cocky Nazem Kadri finally starting to click for Leafs (Toronto Star)

Photo gallery (Toronto Star)

Phaneuf strikes again for Leafs (Toronto Globe and Mail)

Hope already building for next year for the Leafs (Toronto Globe and Mail)

‘We’re not giving up’ (National Post)

No Quit In Leafs (MapleLeafs.com)

Photo gallery (MapleLeafs.com)

Photo gallery (Sabres.com)

Photo gallery (AP)

Maple Leafs keep faint playoff hopes alive

‘”I had a chance to set the tone on my end and didn’t do it,” said Miller. “It just kind of went from there. … (The shot) was rising up and I didn’t have a step on it. So I just look stupid.”‘

Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller finds balance

‘A big key to the late-season surge is Miller’s health. He came out of training camp with some nagging hip and groin problems that forced him to sit out games at the beginning of November. “It’s just little things that kind of add up,” Miller said Tuesday morning. “You don’t feel great but every player plays with (small injuries). … It’s just as a goalie you’re not used to certain feelings when you’re out there. At that time of year you want to get a lot of work and I was trying to ease off on the work. It’s tough to find a balance.”‘

Toronto 4, Buffalo 3

‘”We got off to a rough start tonight,” said Buffalo head coach Lindy Ruff. “We made some mistakes and weren’t able to come back. We were pushing to get the offense going all night.”‘

Leafs Defeat Sabres 4 to 3

‘A sloppy effort defensively led to a three point night for the Leaf’s MacArthur and a constant parade to the penalty box as the Sabres fell to the Toronto 4 to 3.’

Wednesday’s Portland Coverage

Portland Pirates put it all together (Portland Press Herald)

Pirates back to their winning ways (Maine Hockey Journal)

Nothing doing for Providence (Providence Journal)

Pirates Blank Bruins (PortlandPirates.com)

P-Bruins fall to Pirates 3-0 (ProvidenceBruins.com)

Byron continuing a trend in Portland (TheAHL.com)

Miller coming up big at right time

‘"It’s nice this time of year to have a little stretch where you’re recognized like that," Miller said after practice Monday in HSBC Arena. "It lines up with the way we’ve been playing as a team, really paying attention to detail and with good emotion in the game. I guess that’s exactly what we need this time of year. A goalie a lot of times can be a difference-maker but is really a reflection of the way the team plays."’

Leopold’s doctor’s appointment postponed

‘"He’s an all-around great defenseman and somebody we’ve relied on in a lot of situations," said Steve Montador, who has spent much of the season as Leopold’s defense parter. "As we’ve gone through injuries before, it just gives somebody an opportunity to fill in the spots where he was so good at. … It can be a good thing for guys to step up."’

Leafs’ Reimer knows Miller well

‘“I remember that and how the whole crowd was giving him the (derisive) Miller chant,” Reimer, a Manitoba native, said. “You look up to a guy who has had that much success and works that hard. I don’t think anything has been given to him. You admire what he has done. Hopefully I can do that in my career and be as successful as he is.”’

Leafs’ MacArthur staying positive

‘Now, the Leafs have to worry about Sabres goalie Ryan Miller, who has two shutouts in his past three games and on Monday was named the NHL’s first star of the week. Miller has 24 career wins in 31 decisions against the Leafs.’

Sabres relish chance to ‘bury’ the Leafs

‘“Any time you play a division rival it’s a fun game, but now that the playoffs are on the line it makes it even more fun,” said Pominville following his team’s practice Monday at HSBC Arena. “They won a big one last time against us in their building. Their building was rocking and it was a fun place to play in and I’m sure it will be that way again tomorrow. Everybody is excited about the opportunity to push them down.”‘