March 4, 2006
by Brian Wheeler
Martin Biron certainty didn't show any signs of atrophy from a 12-game layoff. Making his first start since January 21st at Calgary, Biron tied a season-high stopping 40 shots as he backstopped the Buffalo Sabres to a 3-2 victory over the Boston Bruins on Saturday night.
"I felt good right off the bat," said Biron, who made 20 saves in the third period alone. "It was one of those games where even if you are down 2-0, you feel there is a chance that the team can really get going."
Biron's last victory came on December 17 against Pittsburgh when he made 33 saves in a 4-3 Sabres victory.
"It was great to see Marty (Biron) hold us in there, shut the door in the third and allow us to win that game," said Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff. "I think it was unfortunate that they got a couple early, but he really settled down and played a nice game for us."
Arriving in Boston at 2:00 am Saturday morning, Buffalo looked sluggish in the opening 10 minutes of play and fell behind 2-0 as a result.
"Boston was looking at this as a must win game," said Ruff, whose team swept back-to-back games for just the second time in 11 chances this season after defeating Toronto 6-2 in the first half of the doubleheader on Friday night. "They didn't play yesterday and with us coming in late, we made enough bad plays to allow them to create some pretty good energy."
"I don't think we really deserved that game but you've got to give credit to Marty stepping up the way he did tonight," said Daniel Briere. "We needed a performance like that just for a chance to win and he more than gave us that chance."
Buffalo rallied behind the line of Briere, Jochen Hecht
and JP Dumont. The trio, who has missed an aggregate total of 62 games due to injury this season, produced seven points as Buffalo scored three unanswered goals beginning late in the first to elevate the team to victory.
"We have to win ugly and we haven't done a lot of that," said Ruff. "We totally dominated the second period, and they came out and totally dominated the third period.
"Throughout the second period, we had about 11 scoring chances. That's a heck of a period and that line had about six or seven of them. It was a game that we found a way to comeback and win."
Hecht and Briere each notched a goal and a pair of assists, while Dumont added the game winner for his 11th tally of the season as Buffalo improved to 38-16-5.
"On any given night if you want to focus on one line, you're going to have another line step up," said Ruff. "Danny is still getting back up to speed. He's still a ways away from being the player we want him to be, but I thought tonight was a good step in the right direction. He's a guy that can supply us that timely offense and can change the flow of the game with his creativity and ability to score."
"We are not just a one-guy or one-line team," said Briere. "We have three different lines that can score on any given night."
Marco Sturm collected Patrice Bergeron's rebound with the man advantage to give Boston the early 1-0 lead less than four minutes into the game. Biron made the initial save on Bergeron's offering from the left boards, but allowed the puck to ricochet to the far side.
Less than three minutes later, Glen Murray gave Boston a two-goal lead after receiving a pass from Sergei Samsonov in front and snapping the puck quickly past Biron.
Hecht brought Buffalo within a goal after muscling his way to the front of the net and redirecting an across-ice feed from Briere with four minutes remaining in the first.
Briere and Hecht would hook-up again to even the score at 6:39 of the second.
After receiving the puck from Henrik Tallinder at the left post, Hecht curled around the net and found Briere with a soft pass on the backdoor for an easy redirect and his 16th goal of the season.
With four minutes remaining in the second, the Sabres top line connected again for the game winner.
Cutting to the net on the left wing, Hecht found Dumont alone at the right faceoff circle for a one-timer that beat Raycroft over his right pad.
------------------------------------ SCORING REPORTS
| Super Stats
| Faceoff Comp
| Play By Play
| Shift Chart GAME BLOG:
0-1 (3:41): With a man advantage, Patrice Bergeron fires a shot from the left boards that is saved by Martin Biron. Marco Sturm collects the rebound and flips the puck over Biron's left pad for his 23rd of the season. Brian Leetch gets the secondary helper.
0-2 (7:05): Camped in front of Biron, Glen Murray received a nice pass from Sergei Samsonov for the easy chip and a two-goal Boston lead. The goal is Murray's 19th of the season. Samsonov gets the lone assist.
1-2 (16:12): Jochen Hecht
brings Buffalo within a goal after muscling his way to the front of the net and receiving an across-ice feed from Daniel Briere. Hecht simply redirected the pass inside the right post for his 16th goal of the season. Briere and Toni Lydman record the assists. Period 2
2-2 (6:39): Jochen Hecht
curled around the left side of the net and found Daniel Briere on the backdoor for his 16th goal of the season. Briere had a wide open net as Andrew Raycroft couldn't move laterally in time. Hecht gets his second point of the night with the primary assist, while Henrik Tallinder is credited with the secondary.
3-2 (15:02): Jochen Hecht
finds JP Dumont at the right faceoff circle for a one-timer and the first Buffalo lead of the contest. The goal is Dumont's 11th of the season. Hecht and Daniel Briere each record their third point of the game with the assists.
Quotes courtesy of WGR-550 AM, the official radio partner of the Buffalo Sabres.