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Miller propels Sabres past Maple Leafs

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.

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