Buffalo at Atlanta

Sabres 2, Thrashers 1 (OT)


ATLANTA -- When Zach Bogosian slammed into Patrick Kaleta behind the net in overtime, the Buffalo Sabres had the break they needed to get back on the winning track.

Derek Roy scored a power-play goal 2:27 into the extra period to give the Sabres their seventh win in eight games, 2-1 over the Atlanta Thrashers on Thursday.

Bogosian was sent off for elbowing when he brought up his right arm before delivering against the boards on Kaleta, who scored Buffalo's goal in regulation.

"Penalties played a big role," Kaleta said. "We finally got a power play that paid off for us."

With the Thrashers down to only three skaters, the Sabres had plenty of room to operate. Tim Connolly guided the power play from the center of the ice, just inside the blue line, and slid a pass to Roy all alone at the top of the right circle. He ripped off his 11th goal of the season, a one-timer over Ondrej Pavelec's left shoulder.

Bogosian didn't complain much about the penalty.

"It all happened so fast," he said. "I really don't know. I'm not the ref, so I don't make the calls."

Buffalo was coming off a 4-3 shootout loss to Colorado on Saturday, snapping a six-game winning streak. Ryan Miller made 32 saves for the Sabres, improving his record to 26-8-3.

At the start of overtime, the Thrashers had to kill off the final 50 seconds of a holding penalty against Christoph Schubert. The teams played less than a minute at even strength before Bogosian was sent off.

"It's tough when you're short-handed the first few minutes of overtime," Atlanta coach John Anderson said. "They're going to get a few good scoring chances."

Ilya Kovalchuk scored his 27th goal for Atlanta, which was hoping to follow up its first regulation win since Nov. 30 after blowing out Ottawa 6-1 on Tuesday. The Thrashers have gone exactly a month since putting together consecutive victories, their last winning streak a modest two-game stretch that ended on Dec. 14.

"Out of the two teams that could afford the point the most, it wasn't us," Anderson said. "We need every point we can get right now. We're not getting out share of breaks right now, but I know if we keep playing hard and as good as we are, good things will happen. The hockey world will even up."

Kaleta put the Sabres ahead three minutes into the second period, taking advantage of a fortuitous bounce after an errant shot by teammate Toni Lydman.

The Buffalo defenseman missed the net with a shot from the point, but the puck ricocheted off the boards and straight to Kaleta standing on the opposite side of the crease. As Pavelec scrambled to get back into position, Kaleta flipped a perfectly placed shot just under the crossbar for his seventh goal.

The Thrashers, after failing to convert on their first five power plays, finally took advantage when they were a man-up the sixth time. Slava Kozlov guided a pass to Kovalchuk breaking in from the left point, and the Atlanta star had time to settle it on his stick, move inside the faceoff circle and rip one over Miller's glove.

The Buffalo goalie probably had trouble getting a good look at it with defenseman Steve Montador and Atlanta's Bryan Little clogging things up in front of the net.

"We put ourselves in a touch spot, but we bounced back with some good penalty killing," Miller said. "We stuck with it. We did a good job penalty killing. We battled hard."

The teams played before another sparse crowd at Philips Arena. The announced turnout of 11,313 was the ninth time in 22 home games that Atlanta has failed to draw 12,000 fans. The Thrashers rank 28th in the NHL in attendance; the New York Islanders and Phoenix Coyotes are the only teams lower.

"This is a good building to play in," Roy said. "It's kind of quiet."


The Sabres scratched left wing Matt Ellis and defensemen Nathan Paetsch and Andrej Sekera. ... Center Todd White took part in the morning skate but didn't dress for Atlanta after hurting his right leg in the previous game against Ottawa. The Thrashers also sat defensemen Mark Popovic and Anssi Salmela. ... Tobias Enstrom also picked up an assist on Kovalchuk's goal, the 107th point of his Atlanta career. That tied Enstrom with Yannick Tremblay as the highest-scoring defenseman in Thrashers' history.

Copyright 2018 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.
Buffalo  (29-11-5) «01012
Atlanta (20-19-7)01001
Three Stars
D. Roy

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0
I. Kovalchuk

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0
R. Miller

Saves: 32
Save Pct.: .970

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Scoring Summary
03:00Patrick Kaleta (7), Snap Shot. Assist: Lydman, MacArthur
16:42Power Play - Ilya Kovalchuk (27), Wrist Shot. Assist: Kozlov, Enstrom
02:27Power Play - Derek Roy (11), Slap Shot. Assist: Connolly
Penalty Summary
04:34Tallinder, 2 min, Tripping
10:48Schubert, 2 min, Delay of Game - Puck Over Glass
11:47Peverley, 2 min, Slashing
16:17Lydman, 2 min, Hooking
19:22Gaustad, 2 min, Hooking
05:37Bogosian, 2 min, Hooking
06:42Butler, 2 min, Slashing
09:21Kennedy, 2 min, High-Sticking
15:24Butler, 2 min, High-Sticking
19:26Thorburn, 2 min, Tripping
03:28Tallinder, 2 min, Hooking
03:46Antropov, 2 min, Interference
07:54Antropov, 2 min, Unsportsmanlike Conduct
07:54Kennedy, 2 min, Unsportsmanlike Conduct
18:50Schubert, 2 min, Holding
01:41Bogosian, 2 min, Elbowing
Shots On Goal
Ryan Miller 61:21321
Ondrej Pavelec 62:27302
Game Information
Attendance - 11313
Referees - Tom Kowal, Dan O'Rourke
Linesmen - Thor Nelson, Jay Sharrers
Other Games
NJ 3 Final
Pho 4
Fla 3 Final
TB 2
Min 0 Final
StL 1
Ott 2 Final
Bos 2 Final
SJ 1
Colu 0 Final
Chi 3
Phi 0 Final
Tor 4
Ana 0 Final
LA 4
Car 1 Final
Det 3
Dal 3 Final
Mon 5
Pitt 3 Final
Edm 2