Niagara Gazette

Sports

October 28, 2006

SABRES: High-scoring teams don’t disappoint

It isn’t surprising that it took more than four goals to win Saturday’s matchup of the Eastern Conference’s top two teams at HSBC Arena.

Buffalo and Atlanta entered the game as the only teams with 40 or more goals, and Daniel Briere’s first-period tally put the Sabres at 50.

Also, the game featured four of the league’s top five scorers — Marian Hossa, Maxim Afinogenov, Ilya Kovalchuk and Chris Drury. Only Vancouver’s Henrik Sedin, who started the day tied for third with 15 points, wasn’t on the ice.

•••

Briere’s goal gave the Sabres co-captain points in 10 consecutive games, a new career high.

The record for consecutive games with a point by a Sabre is 18, set by French Connection member Gilbert Perreault in 1971.

•••

Things could have been worse in the first period for Buffalo, as the league’s leading scorer, Hossa, had a clean-cut breakaway from center ice. Hossa, who entered the game tied with Buffalo’s Afinogenov with 16 points, seemed to lose the puck while bearing down on Miller, who casually poke-checked the winger.

•••

Atlanta came into the contest unbeaten on the road with a 3-0-2 record. The Sabres are 6-0-0 on the road this season.

Oddly, as many teams entered Saturday without a road loss as did without a home loss. Buffalo, Minnesota, Anaheim, Edmonton and New Jersey were all unbeaten at home coming into action, while Anaheim, Ottawa and Pittsburgh joined the Sabres and Thrashers with unbeaten road marks.

•••

In his first action of the season, Nathan Paetsch played a regular shift, mostly with Brian Campbell. Toni Lydman, who typically plays with the injured Henrik Tallinder, was paired mostly with Jaroslav Spacek.

Tallinder is out at least two months with a broken arm.

— Compiled by Tim Schmitt

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