TORONTO, Cananda - Ryan Miller stopped 34 shots to lead the Buffalo Sabres past the Toronto Maple Leafs 2-1 on Monday night.
Miller was a big reason why Toronto's fans spent much of the contest sitting on their hands in the Leafs' home opener.
He lost his shutout bid when Nazem Kadri scored on the power play with 1:42 remaining, his second goal of the season. Toronto's Joffrey Lupul appeared to tie it seconds later with goalie Ben Scrivens on the bench but the goal was disallowed.
With Scrivens on the bench and Toronto on a late power play, Kadri was all alone to the side of Miller but couldn't get his stick on the bouncing puck in the dying seconds.
Cody Hodgson and Jason Pominville had the goals for Buffalo in the first of four meetings this season between the Sabres (2-0-0) and Leafs (1-1-0), who opened their season Saturday night with a 2-1 win over Montreal.
Miller improved to 28-14-0 all-time against Toronto and came into the contest with a 2.44 goals-against average and .922 save percentage. He has more wins (28) against Toronto than any other team.
Miller was also solid in goal for Buffalo after registering a 27-save performance in the Sabres' 5-2 season-opening home win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday night.
Toronto outshot Buffalo 13-5 in the first but it was the Sabres who had the period's lone goal as Hodgson opened the scoring at 8:51, deflecting Christian Ehrhoff's point shot past Scrivens for his second goal of the season.
The Leafs had a glorious chance to tie it when the Sabres took three straight minor penalties — giving the home team an extended two-man advantage — but the closest they came to scoring was captain Dion Phaneuf's slapshot going off the post.
Pominville put Buffalo ahead 2-0 at 4:51 of the second with his first goal of the season. The Sabres' captain — who had three assists Sunday night against Philadelphia — took a nice setup pass from Thomas Vanek and finished the play off by firing a wrist shot through Scrivens' legs.
The assist was Vanek's sixth point of the season after registering two goals and three assists against Philadelphia.
NOTES — Attendance at the Air Canada Centre was 19,475 . . . Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield participated in the ceremonial opening faceoff from space . . . Toronto won the season series last year 3-2-1 and was 3-0-0 at home versus Buffalo . . . The Leafs opened the season with the NHL's second-youngest roster with an average age of 27.1 years. Only Columbus (26.9 years) is younger . . . Saturday's road win in Montreal marked the third straight season Toronto opened the campaign on a winning note . . . Monday's game was the 96th home opener in Leafs' history (44-33-15-3). Toronto opened its home schedule against Buffalo for the sixth time (2-3-1-0) . . . Toronto's next game is Wednesday night in Pittsburgh.
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