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Atlanta Thrashers 2, Buffalo Sabres 7 FINAL

NHL.com @NHL

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) _ Comeback wins might be fun. Miroslav Satan showed the Buffalo Sabres a less dramatic _ and just as satisfying _ way to victory.

Satan scored a career-high four goals, including the 250th of his career, leading the Sabres to a 7-2 win over the Atlanta Thrashers on Monday.

Daniel Briere had a goal and two assists, while Ales Kotalik and Andy Delmore also scored, helping the Sabres to their fourth straight victory and eighth in their last nine games.

The only difference this time around was how Buffalo won, building a 2-0 first-period lead on goals by Satan and Briere and never letting up. Satan scored three more 8:24 apart in the third period to put Buffalo up 7-1.

That's a distinct turnaround from Buffalo's last three games, each won after the Sabres fell behind. That includes a 6-4 victory at Toronto on Saturday, a game in which the Sabres trailed 3-0.

``This shows we can win games in a much more comfortable way,'' Satan said with a smile.

Buffalo trailed Los Angeles 3-1 Friday, before rallying for an 8-3 win. The Sabres also overcame a 1-0 deficit to beat San Jose 2-1 last Tuesday.

``I don't care how we win it, whether we get down one or two, but as long as we win the game,'' coach Lindy Ruff said. ``I didn't know how the team was going to react after two big emotional games ... but they played one of their best games.''

The Sabres have 21 goals in their last three games _ the team's best stretch since scoring 24 in three games from Dec. 31, 1992 to Jan. 3, 1993. It's also the most in the NHL in a three-game stretch since Pittsburgh scored 21 from March 23-26, 1996.

The outburst comes at a great time for the ninth-place Sabres, who moved to within four points of the New York Islanders and Montreal Canadiens in the race for the Eastern Conference's eighth and final playoff spot.

Ilya Kovalchuk (team-high 30th goal) and Randy Robitaille scored power-play goals for the Thrashers, 1-9-2 in their last 12 games. Atlanta has not won consecutive road games since March 2003.

``We just came out flat,'' Atlanta center Marc Savard said. ``If I could pinpoint what was going wrong, I would stop it. It's a tough thing right now.''

The Thrashers have lost seven of eight, and have given up at least four goals in each loss. The lone exception during that stretch was a 4-1 win at Vancouver on Friday.

Starter Pasi Nurminen allowed three goals on 16 shots, and was pulled shortly after Kotalik scored six minutes into the second period. Byron Dafoe took over and allowed four goals on 19 shots.

Satan got his second goal 53 seconds into the third period, converting a rebound after Dafoe stopped Brian Campbell's point shot.

After Robitaille got the Thrashers on the scoreboard 42 seconds later, Satan stuffed in a loose puck to make it 6-1 at the 2:08 mark. He then capped his run by scoring on a backhander from a bad angle just over seven minutes later.

``I was kind of surprised myself because I think two of them were gifts from upstairs,'' Satan said. ``But it's good to see we can score six, seven, eight goals sometimes. It definitely gives us confidence we can play against any team.''

Satan's third goal gave him 500 points in the NHL. It's the third time this season _ and seventh of his career _ that he scored at least three.

Alexander Mogilny was the last Buffalo player with four goals in a game, on Feb. 24, 1993.

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