BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) _ Daniel Briere got the Buffalo Sabres an overtime
victory. Tampa Bay's Dave Andreychuk got his NHL power-play goals record back.
Everybody seemed happy on Friday following a game in which the Sabres
squandered a two-goal lead in the final two minutes before bouncing back to
beat the Lightning 4-3 on Briere's goal with 1:59 left in the extra period.
``Roller coaster,'' Briere said with a wide grin. ``That's the best word I
could find tonight.''
Briere finished with a goal and two assists, Miroslav Satan scored twice and
Brian Campbell also scored in helping Buffalo extend its unbeaten streak to six
Andreychuk scored twice and assisted on Cory Stillman's game-tying goal with
54.1 seconds remaining.
Andreychuk's two goals came on the power play, including the 265th of his
career to regain the all-time league lead; Brett Hull scored his 263rd on
``We're happy with the point,'' said Andreychuk. ``We kept battling back.''
The former Sabre was happier still that he had a special night in his former
hometown, where he spent parts of 12 seasons.
At 40, and with a potential NHL labor stoppage looming next season,
Andreychuk noted this could be his last game in Buffalo.
``I wanted to put on a pretty good show,'' the Lightning captain said. ``I
had a lot of family and friends, so I feel good that my last game in Buffalo _
possibly _ was a good one.''
It was Andreychuk's first two-goal game since Dec. 29, 2002. He had a chance
to score a third with a breakaway in overtime, but was foiled by Martin Biron's
Briere sealed it a few minutes later on a two-on-the-goalie break.
Satan carried the puck up the right wing and, from the right circle, fed a
pass across to Briere, who snapped it at the net. Goalie John Grahame got a
piece of the shot, but the puck had enough momentum to dribble over the goal
The Lightning lost their second straight overtime game following Thursday's
4-3 loss at St. Louis.
For a game in which Buffalo and Tampa Bay combined for 13 shots on net
through 32 minutes, it finished with a flourish.
Down 3-1, the Lightning were on the power play when they pulled their goalie
for an extra skater. The gamble paid off when Andreychuk scored with 1:43
Stillman connected 49 seconds later, capping a wild scramble in front. Biron
made several stops, but couldn't smother the puck. Stillman finally got to it
to the right of the net and flipped it over the sprawled goaltender.
The Sabres (28-26-6-1) now have one more win than they managed last season,
and moved two games above .500 for the first time since opening last season
with two victories.
The win also set up an important showdown for the Sabres on Saturday, when
they travel to play the New York Islanders. Ninth-place Buffalo moved within
three points of the Islanders, who are tied with Montreal for the Eastern
Conference's final two playoff spots.
Sabres coach Lindy Ruff wasn't happy with his team's overall performance,
but the win is what counted.
``We won a game where we didn't play particularly our best game,'' Ruff
said. ``But no one's going to quit. We made the right play at the right time to
win the game.''
Tampa Bay coach John Tortorella was frustrated with the play of Grahame.
Campbell beat him through the legs, while Satan's second goal dribbled through
the goalie's glove.
It's additionally disappointing after No. 1 goalie Nikolai Khabibulin
struggled in the loss to St. Louis.
``I'm very concerned about both of our guys,'' Tortorella said. ``Plain and
simple, you need saves. We need some help there. Enough said? Good.''