March 21, 2007
By Brian Wheeler
The Buffalo Sabres did something against the Washington Capitals that they hadn't been able to do in 13 games. Score multiple goals on the power play.
Buffalo snapped an 0-25 scoreless streak with a pair of power-play goals on back-to-back opportunities in the second period en route to a 5-2 victory over the Capitals in HSBC Arena on Wednesday night.
"We had good puck movement early," said Miller, who stopped 24-of-26 shots to record the win. "We worked for all the goals we got.
"It was effort tonight. Everybody's doing what it takes to win and we only have 10 games left until the real season begins."
"We've talked about the importance of getting some areas of our game sharp for the stretch drive," said head coach Lindy Ruff referring to the power play. "We had some good power plays on the road trip. We missed some great opportunities.
"But you don't want to talk about missing opportunities. You want to talk about scoring on the opportunities that you got."
The man-advantage unit finished the night 2-4, snapping a scoreless streak that started over seven games ago in the third period at Toronto on Mar. 3.
Daniel Briere became the fourth Sabre this season to eclipse the 30-goal plateau and Derek Roy recorded his third goal in four games as each lit the lamp with a Capital serving time in the penalty box during the middle frame.
"We've worked hard to score goals [on the power play], but sometimes you need a couple bounces to help you out," said Dainius Zubrus. "It was good. We didn't give up any shorthanded and scored a couple power-play goals, so that will hopefully get us back on track."
Drew Stafford continued his hot streak, scoring his fourth and fifth goals in the last four games late in the third period. Ruff even called the rookie's name a couple of extra times in the final minutes of play to see if he could get his third of the game, but he couldn't find his first hat trick.
"It was a big win for us especially after the three losses," said Stafford. "With all the practice you put in, for those guys on the power play that aren't scoring, it can get frustrating. We practiced a couple of things yesterday and this morning, and everything worked out."
The victory makes Buffalo the first team in the Eastern Conference to amass over 100 points and snaps a three-game losing streak at home.
Roy one-timed Dmitri Kalinin's rebound off the backboards into the net to give Buffalo the 1-0 lead just 40 seconds into the second. Scored on a continued power play from Boyd Gordon's tripping penalty at the end of the first, the goal gives Roy three goals and two assists in his last four games.
"We talked about getting more pucks around the paint," said Ruff. "We've been a pretty good perimeter power play, but for the last day or day and a half, we talked about getting more pucks there."
Clarke MacArthur gave Buffalo a two-goal lead with the third goal of his career. MacArthur received a pass from Adam Mair in the slot and fired a wristshot that snuck between Olaf Kolzig's arm and body before kissing off the left post at 8:29.
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