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Ottawa at Buffalo

Briere ties game in regulation, scores overtime winner for Sabres

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Lindy Ruff came out of his office wearing a bowling shirt, a gift from the Buffalo Sabres in honor of his 300th career coaching victory.

Ruff, however, knew there was a number more special: 100 points. That's how many the Sabres have produced after Daniel Briere scored the tying and winning goals in a 5-4 overtime victory over the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday night.

"I'll take 100 points, but the guys got me a gift and my parents said, 'When you get a gift you should wear it," said Ruff, an avid bowler, referring to his Sabres-colored black and red shirt with '300 Club' stitched on his chest.

The 100 points and 47 victories are the most the Sabres have managed since the 1983-84 season when they had 48 wins and 103 points. Ruff became the 31st NHL coach to win 300 games and the 16th to do so with the same team.

Just as special is the victory came against the Eastern Conference-leading Senators, a team that's given the Sabres fits all season. Buffalo improved to 2-5 against the Senators -- the other victory coming in a shootout -- and were outscored 33-15 in those games.

"I don't want to get too excited but we're very happy with the win," Briere said. "The thing we're going to build off is that we came back from behind and never quit."

Briere capped a win in which the Sabres rallied from 3-1 and 4-3 deficits.

He forced overtime by scoring with 39 seconds left in regulation, converting Brian Campbell's pass through the crease.

Briere then clinched the victory with 47 seconds left in overtime, with a power-play goal after Brian Pothier hooked Maxim Afinogenov to prevent a clearcut breakaway. Alone at the right post, Afinogenov set up the decisive goal when he fed a pass through the crease to a wide-open Briere, who jammed it in the open side.

Afinogenov had a goal and three assists while Derek Roy and Rory Fitzpatrick also scored.

Daniel Alfredsson, Patrick Eaves, Christoph Schubert and Chris Kelly scored for the injury-riddled Senators, who were minus four regular defenseman, including Wade Redden, who missed his fourth straight game, excused for personal reasons.

"I thought our guys played well on the blue line ... people who don't play very much stepped up," Senators coach Bryan Murray said. "It's just unfortunate that (the tying goal) happened at the end of regulation the way it did."

The Senators' thin defensive corps was particularly apparent in short-handed situations. Ottawa allowed three power-play goals on seven chances.

"It takes its toll," Alfredsson said. "But they're a good team. Give them credit, they didn't quit."

The Senators lost for the first time in 54 games when scoring four or more goals, ending the third-longest streak in NHL history. The streak dates to a 5-4 overtime loss to Toronto on Feb. 5, 2003.

The Sabres, coming off a playoff-clinching 3-2 shootout win at Toronto on Monday, were careful to note the Senators' depleted lineup.

"That's not the Ottawa Senators there, they're missing a lot of guys on the blue line," said Campbell, who had two assists. "So you take it and you move on."

Buffalo has suddenly begun to rebound, improving to 3-2 since ending a 0-5-1 skid.

"Hopefully this is a big confidence-builder and keeps us going in the right direction," Briere said.

Sabres goaltender Martin Biron stopped 30 shots in making his second straight start in place of Ryan Miller.

Notes

  • Senators C Mike Fisher had an assist, returning to the lineup after missing nine games with a sprained right ankle. Ottawa demoted LW Denis Hamel to AHL Binghamton.
  • The Sabres are 39-11-6 when scoring a power-play goal this season.
  • Biron assisted on Afinogenov's goal. It was Biron's his first of the season, fifth of his career and second against the Senators.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Maxim Afinogenov celebrates his goal to go with his three assists in the game. (AP)
Maxim Afinogenov celebrates his goal to go with his three assists in the game. (AP)

Scoreboard
Ottawa (50-17-8)12104
Buffalo  (47-23-6) «12115
Three Stars
M. Afinogenov
BUF


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 3
D. Roy
BUF


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0
D. Briere
BUF


Goals: 2
Assist(s): 1
Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
14:11Power Play - Maxim Afinogenov (21), Wrist Shot - Assists: Brian Campbell and Martin Biron
19:29Daniel Alfredsson (40), Snap Shot - Assists: Mike Fisher and Jason Spezza
2ND PERIOD
05:18Short - Christoph Schubert (4), Slap Shot - Unassisted.
06:08Power Play - Patrick Eaves (18), Tip-In - Assists: Jason Spezza and Brian Pothier
06:29Derek Roy (18), Backhand Shot - Assists: Mike Grier and Chris Drury
11:03Power Play - Rory Fitzpatrick (4), Wrist Shot - Assists: Daniel Briere and Maxim Afinogenov
3RD PERIOD
14:48Chris Kelly (9), Wrist Shot - Assists: Vaclav Varada and Brian Pothier
19:20Daniel Briere (23), Tip-In - Assists: Brian Campbell and Maxim Afinogenov
OT
04:13Power Play - Daniel Briere (24), Wrist Shot - Assists: Maxim Afinogenov and Ales Kotalik
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
02:26Schubert: Roughing - 2 min.
13:00Heatley: Hooking - 2 min.
14:11Alfredsson: Hooking - 2 min.
16:38McGrattan: Fighting - 5 min.
16:38Peters: Fighting - 5 min.
2ND PERIOD
03:46Pothier: Hooking - 2 min.
05:49Vanek: Hooking - 2 min.
10:22Heatley: Elbowing - 2 min.
14:00Schubert: Tripping - 2 min.
16:02Lydman: Interference - 2 min.
16:02Spezza: Diving - 2 min.
16:53McKee: Hooking - 2 min.
3RD PERIOD
11:39Drury: High sticking - 2 min.
OT
03:55Pothier: Hooking - 2 min.
SHOTS ON GOAL
 123OTT
Ottawa8149334
Buffalo141211239
 
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