BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) -- Alexander Mogilny couldn't care less who
the Maple Leafs' next opponent is -- even it's the Detroit Red Wings
with former teammate Curtis Joseph making first trip back to
Mogilny was more focused on getting the slumping Maple Leafs a
win on Friday, which he did by scoring goals 2:13 apart in
Toronto's 3-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres, who are now winless
in their last 10 games.
"I don't care. It's just another hockey game,'' Mogilny said,
referring to Saturday's game against Detroit. "We need something
to get going. We haven't had too many breaks go our way. We need to
build on something, so it was nice to see.''
Toronto, coming off Tuesday's 4-3 overtime victory over Los
Angeles, won back-to-back games for the first time this season
while also ending a seven-game winless streak (0-5-2) at Buffalo --
dating back to Feb. 17, 1999.
Belfour, who has drawn criticism as Joseph's replacement this
season, also wasn't going to get caught looking ahead.
"We're trying to get our game back on track,'' said Belfour,
who joined the Leafs as a free agent last summer after Joseph
signed with the Red Wings. "We had a big overtime win and tonight
we had to make sure that we came out and played hard to get another
Stu Barnes and Tim Connolly scored for the reeling Sabres. The
10-game winless skid (0-8-2) matched the second longest in
franchise history, and is two short of the record set in the
1991-92 season. Buffalo has also lost five straight for the first
time since dropping seven in a row during the 1993-94 season.
Their record falling to an NHL-worst 3-10-3, the Sabres are off
to their second-worst start in franchise history, going back to
1970-71, their inaugural season, which they opened 3-11-2.
Sabres coach Lindy Ruff refused to blame his team's effort, but
was discouraged by a lack of finish.
"We skated as well as we've skated through this ordeal we're
going through,'' Ruff said. "When you break it down, it's the
prime scoring chances that we missed.''
Chris Gratton alone had two great opportunities in the final
three minutes but was foiled both times, including a rebound chance
which Belfour stopped while sitting with his back inside the net.
The Sabres, the NHL's most penalized team, also lacked
discipline, giving up two power-play goals.
Gratton was more unhappy with the number of penalties his team
took, seven in all, including four straight in the second period.
"We took a couple of penalties we didn't need to take,''
Gratton said. "Everybody should be aware, especially us in the
predicament we're in.''
Renberg tied the game with a power-play goal at the 15:24 mark
of the second period, converting a rebound off of Jyrki Lumme's
Mogilny then followed up with his team-leading 10th goal, giving
Toronto a 3-1 lead, scoring on a short-handed breakaway after
Connolly failed to handle a high clearing attempt.
Mogilny, who spent six seasons in Buffalo during the 1990s,
almost doubled his goal total against his former team, after
managing just three goals in his previous 12 games versus Buffalo.
... The Sabres had no update on RW Maxim Afinogenov, who was
scheduled to be examined by NHL concussion specialist Dr. Charles
Burke in Pittsburgh earlier in the day. Afinogenov, who says he was
struck in the head by a puck prior while working out in Russia
prior to training camp, has yet to play a game this season,
experiencing post-concussion symptoms. ... Sabres D Jason Woolley
cleared waivers after he was released on Wednesday, but has yet to
be assigned by the team.