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Finishing with a Bang

Tuesday, 04.18.2006 / 12:00 AM / News
Buffalo Sabres | Press Release
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Finishing with a Bang

April 18, 2006
By Brian Wheeler

The dust has settled on the 2005-06 regular season and the Buffalo Sabres will now prepare for the team's first playoff run in five years. Dominating play for three periods, Buffalo concluded the franchise's 35th season with a 4-0 thrashing of the Carolina Hurricanes at the RBC Center on Tuesday night.

"It was a great team effort," said Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff. "Marty (Biron) made the big saves when we needed them, we had some great support around him and got some timely goal scoring. Overall, we played as good a game as we played all year long."

Entering the game with three possible opponents for the first round of the playoffs, Buffalo's fate was decided in the 11th hour. With the Devils 4-3 comeback victory over Montreal, Philadelphia's 4-1 victory over the New York Islanders and the New York Rangers' 5-1 loss to Ottawa, the standings solidified with Buffalo facing the Flyers in the team's first playoff series since 2000-2001. Dates and times are yet to be determined.

"We could have mailed it in but we didn't," said Biron. "From the beginning to the end, the guys did a great job."

It took Buffalo 81 games to record its first shutout of the season as Ryan Miller blanked Toronto 6-0 last Sunday, but Biron doubled up one game later. Biron recorded the Sabres second consecutive shutout and the 18th of his career with 33 saves against Carolina.

Said Biron of his performance: "I told Ryan after his shutout against Toronto, 'Well, we were due.' It was the second to last game and we finally got one. To get the second in a row, it was just a great boost for this locker room."

JP Dumont led Buffalo's charge with his fourth multi-goal game of the season. Dumont scored the opening goal of the game in the first and the Sabres last goal with two minutes remaining in regulation to become the sixth Sabre to score 20 goals during 2005-06. Both goals came on the man advantage.

"We wanted to win out and go into the playoffs on a role," said Ruff. "This was a big game for Carolina and we knew they would be fired up. Our challenge was to keep the shifts short and make sure we could maintain a good pace in the game."

Defenseman Brian Campbell added his 12th marker of the season with three minutes remaining in the first, while Chris Drury notched his 30th in the second.

"Our puck movement was excellent, we skated really well and took advantage of some turnovers," said Ruff.

Dumont scored his 19th goal of the season after snapping a backhand shot over Martin Gerber's glove at the 4:55 mark of the first. Receiving a pass from Maxim Afinogenov at the left face-off dot, Dumont cut to the net, hit the brakes and pulled the puck to his backhand for his eighth power-play tally of the season.

With the primary assist on the goal, Afinogenov extended his scoring streak to eight games (3+12).

Campbell's wristshot from the right face-off dot snuck between Martin Gerber's body and blocker for his 12th goal of the season and a two-goal Buffalo lead at 17:04.

While attempting to circumvent Mike Commodore, Roy chipped a pass to Mike Grier, who instantly fed Chris Drury for the one-timer and the center's 30th goal of season at 4:00 of the third.

Dumont became the sixth Sabre to score 20 goals this season with his second of the night after a tic-tac-toe play with Daniel Briere and Drury.

Drury one-timed Briere's across-ice pass from behind the goal line to Dumont in the slot for a one-timer and the left wing's ninth power-play goal of the season at 17:58 of the third.
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SCORING REPORTS
Scoresheet | Super Stats | Faceoff Comp | Play By Play | Shift Chart

OTHER SCORING REPORTS
PHI @ NYI | OTT @ NYR | NJ @ MON

GAME BLOG:
Period 1
1-0 (4:55): JP Dumont scored his 19th goal of the season after snapping a backhand shot over Martin Gerber. Receiving a pass from Maxim Afinogenov at the left face-off dot, Dumont cut to the net, pulled the puck to his backhand for his eighth power-play tally. Afinogenov extended his scoring streak to eight games (3+12) with the primary assist, while Teppo Numminen gets the secondary.

2-0 (17:04): Brian Campbell's wristshot from the right face-off dot sneaks between Martin Gerber's body and blocker for his 12th goal of the season. Daniel Briere records the lone assist, his 32nd during 2005-06.

Period 2
No Scoring

Period 3
3-0 (4:00): While attempting to circumvent Mike Commodore, Derek Roy lost control of the puck but was able to chip a pass to Mike Grier, who instantly fed Chris Drury for the one-timer and the center's 30th goal of season. Grier and Roy get the helpers.

4-0 (17:58): JP Dumont became the sixth Sabre to score 20 goals this season after a tic-tac-toe play with Daniel Briere and Chris Drury. Drury one-timed Briere's across-ice pass from behind the goal line to Dumont in the slot for a one-timer, the left wing's ninth power-play goal of the season and his second marker of the game.
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Quotes courtesy of WGR 550-AM, the official radio partner of the Buffalo Sabres.

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