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NHL Game Summary - Atlanta at Buffalo



(Friday, December 30th)

Final Score: Buffalo 4, Atlanta 1

Buffalo, NY (Sports Network) - Chris Drury had a goal and an assist to lead the Buffalo Sabres to a 4-1 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers at HSBC Arena.

Thomas Vanek, Maxim Afinogenov and Mike Grier netted goals for the Sabres, winners of three of their last four games. Ryan Miller made 34 saves to pick up his 10th win of the season.

Marc Savard scored the lone goal for the Thrashers, who have lost their last two games.

Kari Lehtonen, who had not played since injuring his groin in the first period of opening night, made 25 saves in the loss.

Neither team scored in the first period, however, but Buffalo got on the board early in the second session to take a 1-0 lead.

Drury had the puck down low on the left side of the net and flicked a wrister on Lehtonen. The puck knicked off the goaltender's right shoulder and went into the net just 51 seconds into the second stanza.

Vanek gave the Sabres a 2-0 lead on a nice individual effort. He brought the puck out of his zone, skated around two Atlanta players and, with a Thrasher all over him, squeezed the disc under Lehtonen's pads for his 11th goal of the season with 8:29 left in the second.

The Sabres made it a 3-0 game with 6:35 to play. Afinogenov skated into the Thrashers zone on a two-on-one rush, cut past a defender and snapped a wrist shot that beat Lehtonen on the far side for his ninth goal of the season.

However, Atlanta got on the board with a shorthanded goal just 29 seconds later. Ilya Kovalchuk brought the puck into the Buffalo zone and sent a drop pass that Savard received in the slot. He spun around and flicked a shot that squeezed through Miller's five hole.

But Buffalo regained its three-goal advantage less than a minute later. Grier took the puck from his zone into the Thrashers end and snapped a backhander from the slot that went over Lehtonen's glove for his fifth goal of the season.

Game Notes

Buffalo will host Florida on Sunday...The Thrashers will visit Washington on Sunday...Buffalo has won three straight games against Atlanta...The Sabres, who finished 2-for-7 on the power play, have scored eight power-play goals in their last five games...Sabres center Tim Connolly, who had an assist on Drury's goal, has a four-game point streak, with one goal and six assists during the run.

12/30 23:06:36 ET

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