BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) _ The New York Islanders had better look out: Here come
the Buffalo Sabres.
Dmitri Kalinin scored twice and added an assist, and Martin Biron stopped 23
shots to earn his 100th career victory in Buffalo's 6-0 win over Columbus on
Buffalo moved within three points of the Islanders in the race for the final
playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Both teams have three games remaining,
and the Islanders' magic number is four points.
``They've got to be feeling a little heat now,'' Sabres coach Lindy Ruff
said. ``We want to put a lot of pressure on them.''
Derek Roy had a goal and assist, and Maxim Afinogenov, James Patrick and
Chris Taylor also scored in helping the Sabres extend their unbeaten streak to
five games (4-0-1).
``It's as tight as it's ever been,'' Biron said. ``We've clawed ourselves
back there. And we've got to look at it as a little step. But you haven't done
anything until you close the deal.''
The Sabres, who next play at the New York Rangers on Wednesday, are also
feeling anxious, hoping their run isn't coming too late.
``There's a lot of stress and anxiety involved,'' Sabres defenseman Jay
McKee said. ``We've just got to keep this thing going, our goal is to win
The Blue Jackets, shut out for the 11th time this season, had a four-game
winning streak snapped. The 4-year-old franchise has never won five straight.
The Sabres took control early and kept pressing, making up for their last
game _ Saturday's 2-2 tie at Pittsburgh in which Buffalo blew a 2-0 lead.
Kalinin and Roy scored 2:09 apart, putting the Sabres ahead 2-0 by the 8:16
mark of the first period, and before Columbus registered its second shot on
Kalinin's first goal was an opportunistic one when his centering pass,
intended for Mike Grier, bounced in off Columbus defenseman Scott Lachance's
skate. Roy made good on Afinogenov's pass into the high slot, one-timing it in
from 30 feet to beat Fred Brathwaite on the glove side.
The Blue Jackets were outshot 7-0 when Kalinin scored and 9-1 on Roy's goal.
Columbus was outshot 15-6 in the first period and 39-23 overall.
The Sabres didn't stop there in matching a season high by earning their
third six-goal victory of the season.
Kalinin made it 3-0, scoring a short-handed goal to cap a three-on-one break
seven minutes into the second period. The Sabres then took advantage of a
demoralized Blue Jackets' opponent, scoring three times on 16 shots in the
``I think we knew they would come out hard. They're fighting for their
lives,'' Columbus defenseman Luke Richardson said. ``They kept it up and we
didn't recover. There's no excuse.''
Biron had a relative easy time in earning his milestone victory. His best
stop came when he stopped Rick Nash's hard slapper from the right circle during
a Blue Jackets' two-man advantage in the second period.
``It's another step forward,'' said Biron, 5-0-1 in his last six outings.
``It's a step forward personally and a step forward collectively with the way
we've handled things right now.''