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Sabres Steal A Point

Tuesday, 03.13.2007 / 12:00 AM / News
Buffalo Sabres | Press Release
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Sabres Steal A Point

March 13, 2007
by Brian Wheeler

On the day a new contract was signed that insured the Penguins would remain in Pittsburgh for the next 30 years, the Buffalo Sabres could not deny the city a post-game party despite some last second heroics.

Trailing by two goals with seven minutes remaining in regulation, Buffalo fought back to tie the game 4-4 with goals from their co-captains, but ultimately lost in a shootout.

In a seesaw battle that saw the score knotted three times during regulation, Erik Christensen and Sidney Crosby each beat Ryan Miller following overtime to give Pittsburgh their first victory over Buffalo in the Mellon Arena in nearly three years by the score of 5-4.

Buffalo earned a point for the first time in four games when Chris Drury scored with 6.2 seconds remaining in regulation to push the game into overtime. The Sabres were out shot 35-19 during regulation and failed to create an opportunity in overtime.

"We obviously don't like to fall behind the way we did," said Daniel Briere. "It was frustrating to a point where we weren't moving our legs and weren't skating. I think if we would have worked harder in the first 50 minutes, we would be having better results.

"We're a team that relies on speed and if we don't move our legs, we become very vulnerable."

Briere brought Buffalo within a goal midway through the third period and fed Drury from behind the net on the game-tying tally. Briere added an assist on Jason Pominville's first period goal to register three points.

Pominville tacked on an assist to record two points, while Jochen Hecht recorded three assists.

The quartet of Drury, Briere, Pominville and Hecht scored 10 points after combining for just two goals and two assists in Buffalo's three-straight regulation losses.

"To get a point when we're not at our best, it's something that we'll take," said Drury.

Ryan Miller moved to 32-15 with five shootout losses after making 34 saves.

"A positive is, we steal a point," said Briere. "Hopefully, it's the beginning of something and the beginning of a little more confidence."

Pominville fought to his own rebound and snapped a wristshot top shelf while falling to ice to give Buffalo the 1-0 lead with his 28th goal of the season at 16:27 of the first.

Ryan Malone tied the game 41 seconds redirecting Sergei Gonchar's shot from the high slot inside the left post to make the score 1-1 at 17:08.

"We've had problems with that recently," said Lindy Ruff regarding the opposition's ability to quickly answer the Sabres first goal. "We score and the other team has come back usually within two or three shifts. Those shifts are important. You can seize momentum or you can give it away.

"We've been giving away momentum and haven't been able to carry on what we've done."

Like Buffalo in the first period, Pittsburgh took its first lead with under four minutes remaining in the second, despite out shooting the Sabres 15-2.

Maxime Talbot's blind center pass from a bad angle along the boards caught Miller by surprise and deflected by the netminder off his right pad to put the Penguins ahead 2-1 at 16:33.

Buffalo tied the score just two minutes later.

With 2:43 remaining, Dmitri Kalinin scored his first goal in five games to put a pair of twos on the scoreboard. Kalinin's one-timer over Fleury's left pad was the defenseman's sixth of the season.

"They dominated the second and could have put us away," said Ruff. "We came back to life later in the third to tie the hockey game."

Less than two minutes into the third, Pittsburgh regained its lead and then expanded it to two on the power play with a pair of redirections.

Crosby flipped Mark Recchi's shot over the right pad of a sprawling Miller to record his 29th of the season and make the score 3-2 at 1:18.

Evgeni Malkin gave Pittsburgh its largest lead after deflecting Sergei Gonchar's point shot with less than 10 minutes remaining in regulation. Malkin's 32nd of the season - 16th on the power play - came after Gonchar's shot was redirected by Toni Lydman's stick.

Receiving a great pass by Jochen Hecht on a two-on-one rush, Daniel Briere fired a hard wristshot past the Fleury's waiving glove to bring Buffalo within a goal with his 29th of the season at 12:46.

After Pittsburgh hit two posts trying to take a two-goal lead with Buffalo's net empty, the Sabres clutch captain sent the game into overtime.

With 6.2 seconds remaining in regulation and Miller on the bench, Drury swatted Briere's pass from behind the net past Fleury to tie the game 4-4.
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Audio and quotes courtesy of WGR 550-AM, the official radio partner of the Buffalo Sabres.
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