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Backstopping Back-to-Back Wins

by Staff Writer / Buffalo Sabres
Martin Biron has only made four starts in the last two months, but the high-spirited netiminder certainly doesn't waste any of his limited chances. Biron flipped and flopped his way around the crease to win his second consecutive start against the Boston Bruins on Thursday night.

The 29-year-old goalie stopped 33-of-34 shots at the TD Banknorth Garden to lead the Sabres to back-to-back victories over the Bruins with a 3-1 decision.

After dropping his two previous starts to Northeast Division rivals Toronto and Montreal, Biron was steadfast in the home-and-home series with Boston. He allowed just two goals and posted a 0.966 save percentage to improve to 11-4-1.

"We talked about it after the Montreal game, how I kind of made things complicated on myself," said Biron. "A lot of situations, like three-on-twos, I would start out way in front of the crease and skate backwards.

"All that skating really isn't my style, so I just tried to calm things down and simplify things a little bit. That really paid off."

Biron made 25 saves on Tuesday night in Buffalo's 7-1 spanking of the B's at HSBC Arena.

"We knew we were in for a pretty hard fight," said head coach Lindy Ruff. "They were embarrassed in our building and that was a hard fought game that really could have gone the other way."

Co-captain Chris Drury recorded his fifth multi-goal performance of the season - second in three games - while Jason Pominville set a new career-high in the third period with his 23rd goal of the season.

With two assists, Buffalo's other captain, Daniel Briere, extended his points-scoring streak to seven games (13 points, 5+8).

After losing six of eight, the Sabres have now won their last two games and are 4-3 in the last seven. Almost as importantly, Buffalo snapped its four-game losing streak.

Glenn Murray stripped Dmitri Kalinin behind the Sabres net and slipped a backhand pass out front to Marco Strum, who beat Biron five-hole to give Boston the 1-0 lead at 3:15 of the opening period.

"I remember in juniors it used to happen quite a bit," said Biron of allowing an early goal. "I really had to learn to focus better at the start of games. Quite often it would be first shot, goal. Second shot, goal. Then we would end up winning 3-2.

"You have these things that happened before where you know if you allow an early goal, you can still battle and win. It's happened before so it could happen again."

Drury tied the game 20 minutes later. After using Paul Gaustad and Murray as a moving pick behind the net, Drury curled into the slot and patiently waited for goaltender Tim Thomas to commit. Drury's wristshot top shelf at 3:47 of the second earned his team-leading 28th goal of the season.

Six minutes later, lightning struck again for the Trumbull, CT-native. Controlling the puck along the goal line, Drury's centering pass deflected off Brad Stuart's left skate and skipped into the net to give Buffalo the 2-0 lead at 9:11.

The power-play goal was the fifth time in the last five games that Drury had been able to light the lamp and gave the 30-year-old center his team-leading 14th score with the man advantage. Thomas Vanek is second on the team with 10.

Drury's goal was the only success for the power play in seven attempts against Boston, but the penalty kill was perfect, holding the Bruins without a goal in five opportunities. Buffalo has recorded at least one power-play goal in the last four games.

Pominville put a perfectly aimed one timer into the top-left corner of the net from the slot to give Buffalo a two-goal lead at 6:01 of the third. Pominville's 16.4 shooting percentage trails only Drury (19.1) on the Sabres roster.
Quotes and audio courtesy of WGR 550-AM, the official radio partner of the Buffalo Sabres.
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