BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) _ Miroslav Satan put trade rumors aside long enough to
help the Buffalo Sabres end a four-game losing streak.
Satan scored the go-ahead goal with 7:45 left and set up two others to spark
the Sabres to a 4-3 win over the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday night.
The performance came during a week in which there has been increasing
speculation that Satan could be dealt prior to Tuesday's NHL trade deadline.
Satan said he's heard the rumors, but remains unaffected.
``Whatever happens, happens,'' said Satan, the Sabres' leading scorer during
his seven-plus year tenure in Buffalo. ``There might be a chance that it could
be my last game.''
Satan capped his night with a curious wave to the fans after he was named
the game's first star.
``What can I say?'' Satan said, when asked about his gesture.
Chris Drury scored twice and Maxim Afinogenov added a goal for a Sabres team
in need of a boost. Buffalo was coming off a 7-1 loss at Ottawa on Saturday,
and had been outscored 23-6 in four games.
The Sabres still have slim postseason hopes as they moved into a tie with
Florida, eight points behind the New York Islanders in the race for the Eastern
Conference's eighth and final playoff berth.
Daniel Alfredsson scored twice and Marian Hossa once for the Senators, who
entered in a four-way tie for first place in the East but slipped two points
behind Philadelphia and Tampa Bay. The loss also prevented Jacques Martin from
becoming the 16th coach to win 400 NHL games.
Despite owning one of the NHL's best records, the Senators (35-17-9-5)
finished the season 1-3-2 against the Sabres, and 0-2-1 at Buffalo.
``We knew it was a big game,'' Senators forward Mike Fisher said. ``We have
to start winning and create some space, but it's tough.''
Martin lamented the team's turnovers and that it squandered a 3-2
``We had a game in hand we let slip away,'' he said.
The Sabres also gave away two one-goal leads before rallying.
Afinogenov scored on a partial break to tie the game with 4:09 left in the
Satan then sparked the winning play, getting to a turnover at the Sabres
blue line, and passing the puck to Jochen Hecht for an odd-man rush. Hecht
crossed the Senators line and sent a pass to Satan, who snapped a shot from the
right circle that deflected in off the skate of Ottawa defenseman Wade Redden.
The goal was Satan's team-leading 25th.
Buffalo's Martin Biron stopped 31 shots, including kicking out his left pad
to stop Redden in the final 10 seconds.
Drury's first two-goal game since joining Buffalo last summer came on a day
in which he was named the Sabres captain of the month for March.
``Us coming down to make-or-break time with the standings, and whether I had
the `C' or not, I was hoping to have a good game and it was nice,'' Drury said.
``As long as we're still in it, we're going to keep fighting and clawing.''
Drury put the Sabres up 2-1 with a power-play goal in the final seconds of
the first period. The teams then traded leads by combining for three goals in a
69-second span, which left the game tied at 3 after two periods.
Hossa and Alfredsson scored 43 seconds apart to put the Senators up 3-2.
Afinogenov tied it 26 seconds later, using Derek Roy's feed to break in alone
on Patrick Lalime.