NHL Game Summary - Buffalo at Atlanta
(Tuesday, March 16th)
Final Score: Atlanta 4, Buffalo 3
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Jim Slater scored with 6:44 to play to give the Atlanta Thrashers a much-needed 4-3 win over the Buffalo Sabres at Philips Arena.
It was a desperately needed two points for Atlanta as the team snapped an ill- timed six-game losing streak and moved to 69 points on the season, five back of the eighth-place Boston Bruins, who took a 5-2 decision over Carolina on Tuesday.
Nik Antropov and Maxim Afinogenov each had a goal and an assist while Niclas Bergfors added three helpers for Atlanta, which got 29 saves from Johan Hedberg.
"We got off to a great start and got some bounces," said Hedberg. "We gotta keep this going and get on a roll here. The guys played well tonight and I'll do my best I can to help the guys when they need it."
Tim Kennedy had a goal and an assist for the Sabres, who have dropped their past three games and hold a three-point lead over Ottawa for first place in the Northeast Division. Ryan Miller started the game in net, but was pulled 5:40 in as he gave up three goals on five shots. Patrick Lalime came on in relief and stopped 20-of-21 shots.
Kennedy's goal in the first half of the third period tied the game, but Atlanta took the lead back with 6:44 to play in the third as Bergfors' shot from the right boards hit off of the glove of Slater and went into the net.
"I just charged the net and it went right to me," said Slater. "I just did what I like to do and got the goal."
Buffalo pulled Lalime late in the game for the extra attacker, but Atlanta was able to keep the puck away from Hedberg on the way to the win.
The two teams combined to score four goals in the first 5:40 of the game, resulting in one goaltender getting pulled.
Atlanta got on the board just 33 seconds in as Antropov chipped the puck past Miller from in front after the disc was knocked off the side of the net.
Just over four minutes later, the Thrashers made it a 2-0 game when Rich Peverley sent a pass from the right to the left where Bryan Little wristed it home.
Buffalo got one back just 16 after that goal as Jason Pominville's shot from a bad angle at the left side found its way past Hedberg.
Moments later, though, Miller misplayed the puck behind his net and before he was able to get reset Afinogenov one-timed it home to make it a 3-1 game against his former team and chase Miller from the net.
"I worried about him a little bit, three goals in five opportunities is not what you want to see," said Lundy Ruff about Miller. "It's never an easy decision, you just take the emotion out of it and do it and hope it works out."
Buffalo made it a one-goal game 4:38 into the second period as Kennedy threw a shot on net from the right point that Matt Ellis tipped in.
Lalime needed to stop just six shots in the middle frame to keep Atlanta from adding to its lead.
The Sabres tied the game 7:02 into the third as Kennedy's shot from the right boards hit off of Ron Hainsey's stick and snuck past Hedberg.
Atlanta hosts Ottawa on Thursday...Buffalo continues its five-game road trip in Tampa Bay on Thursday...Each team won twice in the season series, but both of Buffalo's wins came in overtime...Atlanta went 0-for-5 on the power play while Buffalo was 1-for-4.
03/16 22:41:24 ET