TORONTO (AP) — Ryan Miller made 32 saves to help Buffalo keep
its slim playoff hopes alive, and Toronto’s Curtis Joseph tied
the NHL record for losses in the Sabres’ 3-1 victory over the
Maple Leafs on Wednesday night.
Joseph was tagged with the 452nd loss of his career, tying him
with the late Gump Worsley for most in NHL history. With Martin
Gerber expected to get the start in the season finale at home
Saturday against Ottawa, the 41-year-old Joseph — fourth on the
career victory list with 454 — probably started his last game
for the Maple Leafs.
Thomas Vanek broke a 1-1 tie at 8:09 of the third period, and
Paul Gaustad scored 26 seconds later. Vanek deked Joseph one way
and pulled the puck the other way to slip it into an open side
of net, and Gaustad shoved a rebound behind the fallen Joseph.
Jeff Finger opened the scoring in the first period, and Jason
Pominville countered for the Sabres in the second.
The Sabres needed the win, and to have an extraordinary
combination of circumstances to go their way, to avoid missing
the playoffs for the second year in a row. They are four points
behind the New York Rangers for the eighth and final playoff
position, and two points behind ninth-place Florida. All three
teams have two games remaining.