Buffalo at Atlanta

Atlanta's Byfuglien goes end-to-end for OT winner


ATLANTA -- Dustin Byfuglien had a feeling, a good one.

Byfuglien split two defenders and beat Ryan Miller with a wrist shot at 4:31 of overtime to give the Atlanta Thrashers a 4-3 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Friday.

"I knew I was going to shoot for sure," Byfuglien said. "I just didn't know where. I had the ice. I took it. I made a couple of moves, and it ended up in the net."

"It was a nice shot. He [Byfuglien] has lots of speed," Miller said. "I didn't see how he wanted to set it up. He just let the puck go. He had a long time to make a decision."

Buffalo tied it with eight seconds left in regulation when Derek Roy tipped Jordan Leopold's shot past Chris Mason with Miller off for an extra attacker. It was Roy's sixth goal.

Niclas Bergfors put Atlanta ahead 3-2 50 seconds into the third period on a power play goal with two Buffalo players in the penalty box after Atlanta had overcome a 2-0 first-period deficit. He also had a goal and an assist Wednesday night in the Thrashers' victory over the New York Rangers. Alexander Burmistrov scored his first NHL goal, and Nik Antropov also scored for Atlanta.

"When you have a 5-on-3, you can expect that," Miller said. "He [Bergfors] got a back-door play. I made a critical error trying to get the puck set up."

Tim Connolly and Leopold had first period goals for Buffalo.

"We got ourselves back in it. It was just a matter of us staying with our composure," Byfuglien said.

Antropov and Burmistrov tied it at 2 in the second period.

"Heck of a comeback for the guys tonight," Mason said.

Antropov scored Atlanta's first goal and his first of the season on a power play with two Buffalo players in the penalty box. Antropov, who scored 24 goals last season, beat Miller from in close. It came at 9:53 on passes from Byfuglien and Toby Enstrom.

The 19-year-old Burmistrov, Atlanta's No. 1 draft pick and the eighth choice overall this year, scored at 13:33. Burmistrov got his first career assist against the Rangers on Wednesday night.

"It was amazing, unbelievable," Burmistrov said. "I was just trying to play my game."

Connolly scored his fourth goal from in close, converting a nice pass from Cody McCormick at 4:51. Leopold scored at 11:12.

Atlanta had apparently tied it at 1 with 8:48 left in the opening period on a goal by Chris Thorburn but officials waved it off, calling a boarding penalty on Antropov just prior to the score.

The Sabres had a two-man advantage for 1:18 early in the second period, but failed to score. Buffalo had only four shots in the period.


  • Atlanta C Bryan Little left the game with facial lacerations in the first period and did not return.
  • Atlanta G Ondrej Pavelec, recalled from Chicago of the AHL on Thursday, was the backup to Mason and will start Saturday night against St. Louis. Pavelec started the season opener against Washington, fainted and sustained a concussion 2:25 into the game. He hasn't played since.
  • Atlanta D Zach Bogosian returned after missing six games because of a sore shoulder.
  • Buffalo D Shaone Morrison, who missed five games with a back injury, was back in action.
  • Buffalo beat the Thrashers in Atlanta 4-1 on Oct. 20.
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Teammates are happy for Atlanta's top draft pick Alexander Burmistrov, who scores his first NHL goal. (Getty Images)
Teammates are happy for Atlanta's top draft pick Alexander Burmistrov, who scores his first NHL goal. (Getty Images)
Buffalo (3-6-2)20103
Atlanta  (5-4-1) «02114
Three Stars
D. Byfuglien

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
A. Burmistrov

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0
N. Antropov

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0

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Scoring Summary
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Shots On Goal
Ryan Miller 63:15184
Chris Mason 64:25253
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Referees - Steve Kozari, Ian Walsh
Linesmen - Derek Nansen, Steve Miller
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