Nikolai Kulemin had a goal and an assist and Jonas Gustavsson made 32 saves for his second shutout of the season as the host Toronto Maple Leafs skated to a 2-0 triumph over the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday in the opener of a home-and-home series.
Gustavsson made key saves at pivotal times, but none were bigger than when he robbed a wide open Drew Stafford with a glove save midway through the first period to keep the game scoreless.
The Maple Leafs built their 2-0 lead in the first period with goals from Kulemin and Mikhail Grabovski and cruised to their fourth straight victory.
Kulemin’s fifth goal of the season came at 8:22 on the power play and Grabovski doubled the advantage with his 13th of the campaign at 17:55 when he backhanded a shot over Ryan Miller’s glove.
Buffalo sniper Thomas Vanek left the game late in the first period after a hit from Toronto captain Dion Phaneuf.
The Sabres have lost six of their last seven games overall and seven straight on the road.