for this game

Pominville, Biron lift Sabres over Senators

Oct 8, 2006 - 2:17 AM OTTAWA (Ticker) -- The Buffalo Sabres are proving last season was no fluke.

Jason Pominville scored the decisive goal and Martin Biron made 34 saves to lift the Sabres to a 4-3 victory over the Ottawa Senators.

Pominville, whose overtime goal in Game Five of the Eastern Conference semifinals eliminated the top-seeded Senators last spring, again had the deciding tally Saturday.

"It's definitely a nice coincidence, but mostly I'm happy we came out with a win tonight," Pominville said. "Marty was great for us, making some big saves in the third period.

From close range, Pominville beat goaltender Martin Gerber with 3:24 remaining in the third period for his second goal in as many nights and a 4-2 Buffalo lead.

"Dmitri Kalinin made a great play keeping the puck alive in the zone and he just threw it back behind the net to Danny (Briere)," Pominville said. "I just found a seam in front of the net and Danny put it on the tape. I just had to shoot it in."

The goal proved crucial as Jason Spezza tallied 10 seconds later to get the Senators within one.

Biron, who went 21-8-0 with a 2.88 goals-against average in 31 starts last season, stopped 34 shots in his first appearance of the campaign.

"I don't go out there to prove anything to anybody," said Biron, who is relegated to backup duty behind Ryan Miller. "I know if I'm focused, if I'm ready, I can play well.

"This team is happy for one another. In this locker room, everybody wants the other guy to do good. It's not about getting more ice time, it's about supporting each other. The work the guys did tonight, I'm the one that benefits from it."

Gerber, who allowed five goals on just 24 shots in a 6-0 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday, made 20 saves in this one.

"Obviously, we didn't expect to lose two so early in the season," Gerber said. "We just have to be patient. The guys know that last season has nothing to do with this one. We just have to get going for this new season by being patient and working hard."

Chris Drury had a goal and an assist and defensemen Henrik Tallinder and Brian Campbell also scored for Buffalo, which went 1-for-7 on the power play.

With the Sabres clinging to a 2-1 lead, Drury created some breathing room when he scored on a 3-on-1 rush from the left faceoff circle just under three minutes into the third period.

"That was an important goal, especially at that time of the game for us," Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff said. "We took some penalties and they had a lot of momentum. For (Drury) to bury that one there, it picked us up a little bit."

Spezza tallied twice while Dany Heatley and Daniel Alfredsson had two assists apiece for the Senators, who failed to cash in on eight man-advantage opportunities.

Ruff was pleased with the effort by his club, which has won each of its first three games by one goal.

"We played a couple of emotional games vs. Carolina and Montreal where all the lines got a fair amount of work," said Ruff, whose team is off until Friday. "We tried to keep that intensity before getting this week off. I thought Marty played very well. It looked like (Ottawa) was going to bounce back, but Marty made a couple of big saves when we got careless with the puck."