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Toronto beats Buffalo 36 seconds into overtime

TORONTO (AP) -- The Toronto Maple Leafs weren't about to pass up
an opportunity to go gain ground on the Philadelphia Flyers.

Bryan McCabe scored 36 seconds into overtime as the Maple Leafs
beat Buffalo 3-2 Saturday night.

Toronto closed to four points of Philadelphia, 2-1 losers to
the New York Rangers, for fourth place in the Eastern Conference.
The top four get home-ice advantage in the first round of the
playoffs.

''We really wanted to focus on getting two points,'' McCabe
said. ''Home ice was a huge thing for us last year in the playoffs.
We had two Game 7s and won them both. If we can get it, we want
it.''

McCabe fired a slap shot past goalie Mika Noronen for the
Toronto defenseman's fifth goal of the season.

''It was a hard shot. It just went by me and that's it,''
Noronen said.

Mats Sundin and Robert Svehla each had a goal and an assist for
Maple Leafs, who played their third consecutive overtime game.

Sundin said McCabe demanded the puck.

''Bryan became very open. He yelled for it for a couple seconds
and he made a great shot to get the win,'' Sundin said. ''It's nice
to see Bryan get it. He's been playing well defensively, but he
hasn't scored as much as he had hoped.''

J.P. Dumont and James Patrick scored for the Sabres, who outshot
Toronto 27-19.

Svehla made a breakaway pass to Sundin, who gave Toronto a 1-0
lead at 4:17 of the first. Sundin streaked toward the net and put
in his own rebound.

Buffalo outshot Toronto 14-5 in the second and scored twice.

Patrick tied it on the power-play at 5:41 of the second with a
hard slap shot from the point. After a Toronto turnover, Buffalo's
Jochen Hecht staked up the ice and passed to Dumont on a
two-on-one. Dumont redirected Hecht's centering pass for his 14th
goal.

Svehla's one-timer tied it at 2 at 7:30 of the third.

When the Maple Leafs and Sabres played last played March 6,
four fights broke out in the first 14 minutes of the game. No
fights occurred this time.

The Sabres entered the game tied for last in the NHL.

Game notes
Fans cheered during the playing of the U.S. national anthem
after being asked to show, ''Canadian respectfulness and pride.''
Montreal hockey fans voiced their displeasure over the war in Iraq
by booing the U.S. anthem last Thursday. ... The Sabres recalled
enforcer Sean McMorrow from Rochester for the game. McMorrow led
the AHL with 291 penalty minutes. ... Svehla has seven goals.