The Toronto Maple Leafs got under the Sabres' skin Saturday night in the Air Canada Centre but they did the Blue and Gold a favor Wednesday night in Raleigh's RBC Center with a 3-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. Second-period goals 12 seconds apart by Dion Phaneuf and Tyler Bozak snapped a 1-1 tie and rookie goalie James Reimer, who was bad in Monday's loss against Tampa Bay, was solid in net.
So here's the battle for eighth place up to the minute:
7. NYR 78 pts, 71 GP
8. BUF 76 pts, 70 GP
9. CAR 74 pts, 71 GP
10. TOR 72 pts, 71 GP
11. NJD 70 pts, 69 GP
12. ATL 70 pts, 70 GP
Also tonight, the Washington Capitals suffered a 3-2 loss in Detroit and were denied their 10th straight win and their bid to move a point ahead of Philadelphia for first place in the East. The Caps were 8-0 this month and 11-1 in their previous 12, a stretch that began with their 2-1 win over the Sabres Feb. 20 in that Sunday afternoon yawner that turned out to be Tom Golisano's last game as owner.