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Sabres Rally To Win 4-3

by Staff Writer / Buffalo Sabres

September 22, 2006

The last time the Buffalo Sabres visited the Scotiabank Place, Jason Pominville finished one of the most exciting games in Sabres history, and the Senators season, with a shorthanded goal in overtime to earn Buffalo the 4-1 series victory in the second round of the 2006 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Senators didn't fair much better in Buffalo's preseason return to the scene of Pominville's crime.

Former Sabre Denis Hamel's natural hat trick, scored within a four-minute span to give Ottawa a 3-2 lead with 10 minutes remaining in the second period, went for naught as the Sabres rallied to a 4-3 victory on Friday night.

Co-captain Chris Drury tied the game at the 14:01 mark of the second on the power play and Thomas Vanek completed his own hat trick nine minutes into the third as Buffalo moved to 2-1 during exhibition play.

Vanek's three goals and four points lead the team during the preseason.

Buffalo's power play converted three of 12 opportunities while the penalty kill held Ottawa to just one of four.  Buffalo out shot the Senators 38-29, including 13-4 in the third period.

Goaltender Martin Biron recorded the win after giving up three goals off 29 shots.

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Scoring Summary
1-0 (1-2:41): Buffalo takes the lead with its first power play of the game.  Off a tic-tac-toe play, Maxim Afinogenov received a long pass from Derek Roy and found Thomas Vanek on the backdoor for the easy redirect.  The goal is Vanek's first of the preseason.  Afinogenov and Roy get the helpers.

2-0 (2-2:27): Thomas Vanek redirects Jason Pominville's pass past Senators goaltender Ray Emery to expand Buffalo's lead to a pair of goals.  The goal marks Vanek's second of the night, as he becomes the first Sabres player to score multiple goals in a game this season.  Assists go to Pominville and Toni Lydman.

2-1 (2-6:42): Denis Hamel tips a long pass from Patrick Eaves past Jaroslav Spacek at the red line and beat Martin Biron on the ensuing breakaway.  The goal is Hamel's first of the preseason.  Eaves records the lone assist.

2-2 (2-9:14): Denis Hamel tipped Tomas Kubelka's shot from the point to even the score at two apiece.  The power-play goal is Hamel's second of the game.  Kubelka and Alexei Kaigorodov record the helpers.

2-3 (2-10:04): Streaking down the right side of the rink, Denis Hamel fires a shot over the right shoulder of Martin Biron to complete the natural hat trick and gave Ottawa their first lead of the game. Antoine Vermette records the lone helper.

3-3 (2-14:01): Winning a faceoff deep in Ottawa's zone, Chris Drury's initial offering is turned away by Ray Emery, but the Sabres co-captain collected his own rebound and roofed the puck for his first goal of the preseason.  The goal is unassisted.

4-3 (3-9:19): With a two-man advantage, Thomas Vanek converts a quick pass from the wing by Derek Roy to complete the hat trick.  Vanek fought his way to the front of the net before receiving the feed.  The power-play goal is Buffalo's third of the game.
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