Toronto at Buffalo

Briere breaks third-period tie to complete Buffalo comeback

CBS wire reports

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Aggravation quickly turned to motivation for the Buffalo Sabres.

Daniel Briere scored two goals and broke a third-period tie, and the Sabres erased another two-goal deficit in a 7-4 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday night.

Of Buffalo's 18 wins, seven have come after it has trailed by at least a pair of goals. Against Toronto, they fell behind 2-0 just under four minutes in, and took three consecutive penalties in the first 3½ minutes. Toronto capitalized, scoring two goals on separate two-man advantages.

"There was a lot of frustration down 2-0," said Briere, who scored his third winner of the year and had his third multigoal game this month. "Frustration at ourselves for taking penalties like that, but at the same time we believed we could come back."

Briere's quick wrist shot eluded Toronto goalie Andrew Raycroft's glove with 5:00 left in the third, and Jason Pominville and Chris Drury iced it with two short-handed, empty-net goals late to give Buffalo its third win in four games.

The high-scoring Sabres became the first team to score 100 goals this season (101), and have scored at least seven goals in five games, including three times in the last six contests.

Maxim Afinogenov, Jiri Novotny and Brian Campbell also scored for the Sabres.

"No matter what the circumstances are, we keep working," Pominville said. "We showed it again tonight."

The game featured 18 minor penalties, with Buffalo converting on 2-of-8 power-plays.

Toronto, meanwhile, was 2-of-7.

"We got up 2-0 and it was just makeup calls," said Toronto forward Jeff O'Neill, who had a goal and an assist. "You put that team on the power play, they're going to do some damage."

Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller made 32 saves to win his second consecutive start.

"I had red in my eyes for a while," he said. "I was really angry and had to calm myself down. It helps when your guys can put some goals in."

Darcy Tucker had two goals, and Kyle Wellwood added another for Toronto, which has lost three of four.

Down 4-2, Toronto fought back to tie the game on goals by O'Neill and Tucker before Briere broke the tie.

"We got down and battled back," Toronto coach Paul Maurice said. "We understand we have to win games, but I like to see us play like that."

Tucker gave Toronto a 1-0 lead 2:19 into the game, scoring his team-leading 14th goal with Buffalo down two men.

Wellwood quickly made it 2-0 on another 5-on-3 power play just 85 seconds later.

The Sabres answered with four consecutive goals, two on the power play.

Afinogenov made it 2-1 with his 11th, and Novotny tied it at 2 just over two minutes later when he wristed a shot from the slot over Raycroft's left shoulder.

Briere gave Buffalo its first lead with a power-play goal 1:54 into the second period, one-timing Thomas Vanek's nifty no-look, behind-the-back, cross-ice pass from the right circle.

Campbell pushed the lead to 4-2 71 seconds later before O'Neill was the beneficiary of Sabres forward Michael Ryan's gaffe that cut Buffalo's advantage to 4-3. Miller stopped O'Neill's slap shot from the right circle, but Ryan inadvertently shoveled the puck into an open Buffalo net.

Tucker evened it in the third period at 7:19 before Buffalo scored three straight times to end the game.

Raycroft finished with 22 saves in making his second start since missing three games because of a strained groin.

"Because of special teams, we got on a roll, and because of special teams they got on a roll," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. "It turned out to be a darn good game."


  • Buffalo LW Jochen Hecht missed the game because of an inner ear infection. Ryan was called up from Rochester to replace him.
  • The Maple Leafs picked up the one-year option on GM John Ferguson's contract for 2007-08 earlier in the day.
  • Toronto captain Mats Sundin missed his sixth game because of an elbow injury, but he could return Saturday when the Maple Leafs host Boston.
  • Tucker has scored in three straight games.
  • A total of eight minor penalties were called in the first period, seven for hooking.
Copyright 2017 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.
Daniel Briere scores twice, including the tiebreaker in the third to spark another Sabres comeback.    (AP)
Daniel Briere scores twice, including the tiebreaker in the third to spark another Sabres comeback. (AP)
Toronto (12-7-4)2114
Buffalo  (18-3-1) «2237
Three Stars
D. Briere

Goals: 2
Assist(s): 1
R. Miller

Saves: 32
Save Pct.: .889
D. Tucker

Goals: 2
Assist(s): 0

Related Video

Scoring Summary
02:19Power Play - Darcy Tucker (14), Slap Shot - Assists: Tomas Kaberle, Bryan McCabe
03:44Power Play - Kyle Wellwood (5), Wrist Shot - Assists: Bryan McCabe, Tomas Kaberle
10:27Power Play - Maxim Afinogenov (11), Slap Shot - Assists: Ales Kotalik, Teppo Numminen
12:37Jiri Novotny (5), Slap Shot - Assists: Thomas Vanek, Paul Gaustad
01:54Power Play - Daniel Briere (9), Slap Shot - Assists: Thomas Vanek, Maxim Afinogenov
03:05Brian Campbell (3), Wrist Shot - Assists: Daniel Briere, Michael Funk
14:55Jeff O'Neill (6), Wrist Shot - Unassisted.
07:19Darcy Tucker (15), Wrist Shot - Assists: Tomas Kaberle, Jeff O'Neill
14:41Daniel Briere (10), Wrist Shot - Assists: Daniel Paille, Jason Pominville
18:52Short - Jason Pominville (13), Empty Net - Unassisted.
19:12Short - Chris Drury (13), Empty Net - Assists: Daniel Paille, Brian Campbell
Penalty Summary
01:04Pominville: Tripping - 2 min.
02:07Spacek: Hooking - 2 min.
03:27Gaustad: Hooking - 2 min.
07:17Suglobov: Hooking - 2 min.
09:25McCabe: Hooking - 2 min.
10:27Gill: Hooking - 2 min.
15:23Paetsch: Hooking - 2 min.
19:00Mair: Hooking - 2 min.
00:37McCabe: Interference - 2 min.
03:13Briere: Holding - 2 min.
03:13Stajan: Diving - 2 min.
06:08Kilger: Tripping - 2 min.
06:31Briere: Hooking - 2 min.
07:37Kubina: Tripping - 2 min.
16:23Spacek: Hooking - 2 min.
00:33Tucker: Interference - 2 min.
03:25Peca: Boarding - 2 min.
17:34Spacek: Hooking - 2 min.
Andrew Raycroft59:07225
Ryan Miller59:40324
Attendance - 18690
Game Time - 60:00
Referees - Brad Meier, Dean Morton
Line Judges - Tim Nowak, Tony Sericolo
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