NHL Game Summary - Buffalo at Minnesota |
(Sunday, December 11th)
Final Score: Buffalo 3, Minnesota 2
St. Paul, MN (Sports Network) - Chris Drury and Mike Grier scored the final two goals of the game to lift the Buffalo Sabres past Minnesota, 3-2, at Xcel Energy Center.
Thomas Vanek also lit the lamp and Drury tallied the game-winning assist
for Buffalo, which has won three straight and eight of its last nine. The
Sabres have won their last seven road games.
Goaltender Martin Biron was stellar down the stretch and finished with 34
saves to win his 10th consecutive start. That set a franchise record and Biron
became the first goaltender to win 10 straight starts since Dominik Hasek in
2001-02 with Detroit.
"Things have been going pretty good for us of late," Biron said. "We find a
way to win many different ways, but on the road we've been playing really
Brian Rolston had a goal and an assist to pace the Wild, who have dropped six
of their last seven contests. Mikko Koivu also scored, while Dwayne Roloson
made 27 saves.
"We've had a lot of ifs in our games lately," said Wild defenseman Willie
Mitchell. "We really wanted this game in this locker room. We've had some
tough losses lately and this is another one. We just have to play more
With the game knotted at 2-2 in the final minutes, Grier scored his second
straight goal to put Buffalo in front. Drury received the puck from Jochen
Hecht in the right circle and snapped a hard shot on goal. Grier somehow
managed to hit the puck in midair and redirect it past Roloson with 3:32 to
Minnesota was on the power play just minutes before that sequence and had
several point-blank chances, but Biron rose to the occasion and came up with
several big stops, then turned the Wild away down the stretch.
Vanek gave the Sabres an early 1-0 lead, beating Roloson at the 8:03
mark of the first period with an assist from Derek Roy.
Koivu netted the equalizer on a Minnesota power play midway through the
The Wild took the lead with 8:13 remaining in the second. Marian Gaborik
corralled the puck behind the Buffalo goal, took a stride and then sent a pass
to the front of the crease for Rolston, who punched it home to make it 2-1.
The game would head into the final frame tied, however, as the Sabres struck
with just 39 seconds left in the second period. Jay McKee sent a seemingly
harmless light wrister in on goal from the point, but the disc was deflected
by Drury in front and made its way into the back of the net.
"It was a good win for us," Grier said. "I think that second one, that hit my
leg, but I think Chris Drury tipped it on the way in. It's a good win for the
team and we're playing with a lot of confidence."
Buffalo was 0-for-5 on the power play, while Minnesota went 1-for-8...Sabres
center Daniel Briere, who had missed seven straight games with an abdominal
injury, returned to action Sunday...The Sabres, who are 10-5-0 on the road,
will host Dallas on Wednesday...The Wild, who are 7-5-1 on home ice, will
visit the New York Islanders on Tuesday...Gerry Desjardins had won nine
straight starts for Buffalo in December 1976
12/11 22:09:36 ET