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Leafs, Sabres trying to turn things around

Buffalo (17-15-5) at Toronto (15-16-6), 7:00 p.m. EST

TORONTO (Ticker) -- A pair of Northeast Division rivals looking

to get untracked meet Thursday when the Toronto Maple Leafs host

the Buffalo Sabres.

The Maple Leafs are 1-3-0 over their last four games while the

Sabres have just one win in their last five games (1-2-2).

As has been the case most of the season, Toronto's woes can be

traced to poor defense and inconsistent goaltending.

The team is allowing 3.49 goals per contest, which is

third-worst in the NHL ahead of only the New York Islanders and

Atlanta Thrashers.

The Maple Leafs picked up a 4-3 win over Atlanta on Tuesday, but

have allowed 32 goals over their last seven contests, giving up

eight in a game twice during that stretch.

Toronto workhorse Vesa Toskala - who has appeared in 32 games

this season - is likely to be back in net Thursday after taking

a night off against the Thrashers.

Veteran Curtis Joseph played in that contest, earning his first

win since April and the 450th of his career.

Buffalo netminder Ryan Miller also has been heavily relied on

this season, but has been up to the task with a 2.63

goals-against average and .910 save percentage in 30 games.

The Sabres, who dropped a 4-2 decision to Washington on Tuesday,

continue to get contributions from Thomas Vanek and Derek Roy,

who lead the team in scoring with 32 and 31 points,



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