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Marty is Magic Against Montreal

by Staff Writer / Buffalo Sabres
The Buffalo Sabres couldn't have asked for a better effort from goaltender Martin Biron. After the Sabres dropped their first two meetings 3-2 with Montreal, Biron put forth a huge 40-save performance to lead Buffalo to a 3-1 victory on Friday night in HSBC Arena.

"I think that was the first time this year I did the same thing for 60 minutes," said Biron. "I was taking a step ahead in the crease to challenge a shooter when he had a prime scoring chance and I was moving laterally the way I wanted to."

"In a lot of ways, he stood on his head and got the two points for us," said defenseman Brian Campbell, who scored the game-winning goal for the third time this season. "We played pretty well, but it's always nice to get one from your goaltender and have him shut the door."

Like a light bulb switching on, Biron says his play really began to solidify following Jason Blake's goal during the second period against the New York Islanders on Wednesday night.

Blake beat Biron with a quick wristshot from the slot after receiving a pass from Mattias Weinhandl from behind the net. Biron didn't have his body square to the Blake and was parked against the goal line, not out in the crease.

"I realized that I could have taken a step up and focused on that shooter a little bit more," said Biron of the play. "I worked on that yesterday and this morning in practice. It was nice to have things just work"

Biron shutout the Canadiens for more than 43 minutes before giving up a goal to Richard Zednik in the third period. He finished with 12 saves in the first, 18 in the second and 11 in the final period.

With the win, Buffalo continues on their hot streak, taking 11 of a possible 12 points in the last six games.

"Lindy put a good test to us," said Campbell. "He wanted 12 out of the next 16 possible points. We're going to get greedy and get more than that."

Following a Tampa Bay loss and a shootout loss by Toronto, the Sabres move into a three-way tie with the Lightning and Leafs for sixth place in the Eastern Conference with 27 points each.

But the victory came with a serious loss to the team. Already missing star forwards Daniel Briere and JP Dumont due to injury, the Sabres will be without the services of winger Taylor Pyatt, whose play had steadily increases over the last few games, for an indefinite period.

"It looks like he has a fracture in his wrist," said Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff. "That will be confirmed tomorrow. If it's a fractured wrist, that's a good period of time (Pyatt will miss)."

Forward Jason Pominville is expected be recalled from Rochester tonight. Pominville has appeared in 18 games for the Amerks this season. His 19 goals, 26 points and nine power-play goals lead the team in each category.

Pominville has appeared in one game for the Sabres this season after being recalled on November 3.

Ales Kotalik, who has now scored four goals in the last five games, cut through slot and received a no-look pass from Adam Mair for the easy redirect at 6:30 of the second to give Buffalo the 1-0 lead.

Kotalik's 12 goals ties him with Sabres co-captain Daniel Briere for the team lead.

Seven minutes later, Thomas Vanek skated through the slot and dished a short pass to Chris Drury on the right wing, who snapped an across-ice pass through traffic to Campbell for the one-timer and a 2-0 Sabres lead.

Campbell, who has been a mainstay in Buffalo's lineup for the last 12 games, recorded two assists against the Islanders on Wednesday night.

With the assist, Drury extended his points-streak to four games (2+3).

Zednik cuts Buffalo lead to a goal, redirecting Andrei Markov's pass from the left point past Biron at 3:38.

"We needed that win especially going on the road for the next three," said Campbell.
Scoresheet | Super Stats | Faceoff Comp | Play By Play | Shift Chart

Period 1
No Scoring

Period 2
1-0 (6:30): Ales Kotalik receives a no-look pass from Adam Mair directly in front of Yanin Danis for his 12th goal of the season. Kotalik was cutting through the middle when Mair flung the puck through the crease. Tim Connolly records the other assist.

2-0 (11:56): On a tic-tac-toe play, Thomas Vanek cut through the middle, found Chris Drury with a short pass to the right wing, who snapped a across-ice pass through traffic to Brian Campbell for the power-play goal. The score is Campbell's fifth of the season and third on the man advantage. Drury and Vanek get the helpers.

Period 3
2-1 (3:38): Andrei Markov slings a pass from the left point to Richard Zednik in front for the redirect. The goal is Zednik's seventh of the season. Markov and Saku Koivu get the helpers.

3-1 (16:58): Connolly takes it from behind his own net, up the left side, splits two defenders and fires a wrist shot over Danis right shoulder.
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