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Buffalo
Sabres
37-34-7-4
Atlanta
Thrashers
33-37-8-4
OT
33 SOG
23 SOG
1st2nd3rdOTT
BUF
ATL
game recap

Buffalo Sabres 4, Atlanta Thrashers 3 FINAL OT

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:51 AM

Associated Press

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Buffalo Sabres 4, Atlanta Thrashers 3 FINAL OT
Buffalo Sabres 4, Atlanta Thrashers 3

ATLANTA (AP) _ The Buffalo Sabres stopped fighting long enough to pull off a comeback.

Derek Roy scored a fluky goal 15 seconds into overtime after the Sabres rallied from a two-goal deficit in the final 7:37 of the third period, beating the Atlanta Thrashers 4-3 Wednesday night.

The game was marred by numerous fights, the last coming when Atlanta enforcer Francis Lessard jumped on Buffalo strongman Andrew Peters with 14:22 left in regulation.

Lessard was ejected from the game and the Sabres, trailing 3-1, wound up with a seven-minute power play. They capitalized with just 15 seconds left in the advantage, getting a goal from Andrew Mair.

Jochen Hecht tied it for the Sabres 56 seconds later. Milan Bartovic skated behind the net and flipped a pass out front to his teammate, who put it through Pasi Nurminen's legs with 6:13 left.

Nurminen had several spectacular saves among his 29 stops, but he looked foolish in overtime. Roy fired a shot from the top of the circle that caught the goalie in the chest, fell at his skates and slid into the net.

From Roy's perspective, that merely evened things out.

``The last game against Toronto, we had three fluke goals scored on us _ off skates, off sticks, off the goalie's pads,'' he said. ``We just got some good luck today because we worked really hard all game. I think we deserved it.''

The Sabres played their fourth straight overtime game, finally winning one after losing three straight in the extra period. They moved within four points of the New York Islanders for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Andy Sutton tied a career high with two goals for the Thrashers, but it wasn't enough.

Showing that little has changed since Todd Bertuzzi's blindside attack on Steve Moore, the teams carried over the bad blood from their previous meeting _ Buffalo's 7-2 victory last month that included 118 minutes in penalties.

This one was even worse. Atlanta was penalized 19 times for 72 minutes, Buffalo 15 times for 53 minutes _ a total of 125 minutes.

Atlanta's enforcers, Lessard and Kip Brennan, were involved in two fights apiece. Buffalo's Daniel Briere was knocked out of the game when Sutton delivered an elbow to the head in the third period.

``It's getting ridiculous,'' said Briere, who might have a concussion. ``You can't even skate anymore. You have to look all around, for you don't know who's coming at you. It's ridiculous. They have no respect for players.''

In between all the fisticuffs, J.P. Dumont gave Buffalo a 1-0 lead late in the first period, Ilya Kovalchuk tied it with his 38th of the season and Sutton put the Thrashers ahead 3-1 with back-to-back goals. The defenseman's only other two-goal game was Oct. 12, 2002, against Chicago.

The punches came early and often. Less than three minutes in, Brennan squared off with Peters in a battle of enforcers. Peters was the clear winner, decking Brennan with a crisp right hand.

After those two were escorted to the penalty box _ where Brennan applied an ice pack to his face _ the Thrashers sent out their other heavyweight. Lessard immediately went after Buffalo's Eric Boulton and gained some revenge for Brennan's beating, taking out Boulton with a series of left hands.

Lessard skated off with a gap-toothed smile, waving his left index finger in the air.

But Lessard cost the Thrashers dearly in the third when, with his team up two goals, he attacked Peters right off a faceoff. The Buffalo player smartly dropped to his knees and covered up while Lessard punched him in the back of the neck, getting ejected and giving the Sabres their long power play.

Peters waved derisively at Lessard as the Atlanta player left the ice.

``We had the game under control,'' Thrashers coach Bob Hartley said. ``With that seven-minute power play, though, we couldn't find momentum again.''

Peters goaded Lessard into the one-sided fight _ a heady move by a guy who normally contributes with his fists.

``We have a good, rough team,'' Peters said proudly. ``We have the heart to do what we have to do.''

Even Kovalchuk was in a fighting mood, jumping on Bartovic and pummeling him with punches after the Buffalo player delivered a cheap shot during a scrum in front of the net.

scoring summary
1st Period
19:04
BUF
PPG - J-P Dumont (19) Slapshot - ASST: Daniel Briere (33), Jochen Hecht (29)
1 - 0 BUF
2nd Period
03:12
ATL
Ilya Kovalchuk (38) Slapshot - ASST: Shawn McEachern (36), Ronald Petrovicky (13)
1 - 1 Tie
14:56
ATL
PPG - Andy Sutton (4) Slapshot - ASST: Daniel Tjarnqvist (15)
2 - 1 ATL
3rd Period
00:37
ATL
PPG - Andy Sutton (5) Slapshot - ASST: Dany Heatley (12), Shawn McEachern (37)
3 - 1 ATL
12:23
BUF
PPG - Adam Mair (5) Slapshot - ASST: Michael Grier (15), Maxim Afinogenov (12)
3 - 2 ATL
13:47
BUF
Jochen Hecht (12) Slapshot - ASST: Milan Bartovic (4), Henrik Tallinder (8)
3 - 3 Tie
OT Period
00:15
BUF
Derek Roy (7) Slapshot - ASST: Dmitri Kalinin (22), James Patrick (6)
4 - 3 BUF
penalty summary
1st Period
02:54
ATL
Kip Brennan  Fighting (maj) against  Andrew Peters
02:54
BUF
Andrew Peters  Fighting (maj) against  Kip Brennan
02:58
ATL
Francis Lessard  Fighting (maj) against  Eric Boulton
02:58
BUF
Eric Boulton  Fighting (maj) against  Francis Lessard
04:29
BUF
Jochen Hecht  Cross checking
09:00
ATL
Vyacheslav Kozlov  Roughing
11:02
ATL
Pasi Nurminen  Slashing
14:01
BUF
Jay McKee  Holding
17:06
ATL
Andy Sutton  Cross checking
2nd Period
01:03
BUF
Jay McKee  Holding against  Vyacheslav Kozlov
09:23
ATL
Randy Robitaille  Tripping
12:28
BUF
Milan Bartovic  Roughing against  Ilya Kovalchuk
12:28
BUF
Milan Bartovic  Cross checking against  Ilya Kovalchuk
12:28
BUF
Adam Mair  Fighting (maj) against  Ivan Majesky
12:28
ATL
Ivan Majesky  Fighting (maj) against  Adam Mair
12:28
ATL
Ilya Kovalchuk  Roughing against  Milan Bartovic
12:28
ATL
Ilya Kovalchuk  Hi-sticking against  Milan Bartovic
12:28
ATL
Randy Robitaille  Interference on goalkeeper against  Martin Biron
14:29
BUF
Martin Biron  Tripping
15:16
ATL
Kip Brennan  Fighting (maj) against  Brad Brown
15:16
BUF
Brad Brown  Fighting (maj) against  Kip Brennan
17:44
ATL
Shawn Heins  Cross checking
18:23
BUF
J-P Dumont  Boarding
19:18
BUF
Maxim Afinogenov  Too many men/ice - bench
3rd Period
01:40
BUF
Jeff Jillson  Misconduct (10 min) against  Ronald Petrovicky
01:40
BUF
Jeff Jillson  Fighting (maj) against  Ronald Petrovicky
01:40
BUF
Jeff Jillson  Instigator against  Ronald Petrovicky
01:40
ATL
Ronald Petrovicky  Fighting (maj) against  Jeff Jillson
01:40
ATL
Ronald Petrovicky  Clipping against  Jeff Jillson
01:40
ATL
Benjamin Simon  Too many men/ice - bench
05:38
ATL
Francis Lessard  Instigator against  Andrew Peters
05:38
ATL
Francis Lessard  Fighting (maj) against  Andrew Peters
05:38
ATL
Francis Lessard  Misconduct (10 min) against  Andrew Peters
05:38
ATL
Francis Lessard  Game misconduct against  Andrew Peters
OT Period
NONE
goalie stats
Martin Biron
SA: 23TOI: 58:43
Saves: 20EV: 12 - 13
PIM: 2PP: 5 - 7
SV%: .870SH: 3 - 3
Pasi Nurminen
SA: 33TOI: 59:18
Saves: 29EV: 17 - 19
PIM: 2PP: 12 - 14
SV%: .879SH: 0 - 0