BUFFALO — On the night porous Vesa Toskala likely solidified his eventual exit out of Toronto, Viktor Stalberg made a strong bid to permanently remain with the Maple Leafs.
Called up for his second stint with the parent club Thursday, Stalberg needed just 186 seconds last night to score his first NHL goal, beating Ryan Miller at 3:06 of the first period.
Unfortunately, Toskala’s awful second period, which included a Tommy Salo-like whiff of Toni Lydman’s shot from the neutral zone, overshadowed Stalberg’s milestone moment in the 5-2 Buffalo Sabres victory.
“Obviously it’s something I dreamt of as a little kid but it doesn’t mean much when you lose,” said Stalberg, who was sent to the Marlies in late October after failing to score in his first eight NHL games.
“Being with the Marlies was good for my confidence. You have a bigger role on the team down there and are out there for a lot of key situations.”