Final - OT
  for this game

Briere's OT goal propels league-leading Sabres past Rangers

Nov 6, 2006 - 1:00 AM NEW YORK (Ticker) -- Daniel Briere displayed the type of eye-skate coordination that makes him one of the NHL's rising stars.

Briere scored his second goal of the game on a pretty play with 63 seconds left in overtime as the Buffalo Sabres recorded an entertaining 4-3 triumph over the New York Rangers.

The Sabres rallied from a 3-1 second-period deficit to improve to 12-1-1 on the season. Buffalo was coming off its first regulation loss in Saturday's 4-1 defeat to Toronto, but bounced back in impressive fashion thanks to its captain.

With just over a minute left in the extra session, Briere gave off to Drew Stafford, who was making his NHL debut. The 21-year-old right wing sent a feed back to the slot for Briere, who kicked the puck to his stick and flipped a shot past the glove of goaltender Kevin Weekes for the game-winner.

"It's a big boost to win this," Briere said. "I think lately we had been playing with fire too much ... Toronto last night and again tonight. ... The message in the room (before the third period) was stay on the ice and we'll get back in it."

"(Briere) created space for himself and I was able to get it to him," added Stafford, who did not arrive in New York until 2 p.m. local time. "He made a great shot. It hasn't sunk in for me yet."

Buffalo's Thomas Vanek opened the scoring early in the opening period before New York netted three power-play goals in the first half of the middle session to take a 3-1 lead. Jaromir Jagr recorded the first tally and set up the next two, giving him eight multi-point efforts in 14 games this season.

Briere made it 3-2 with a power-play goal with 6:36 left in the second period. He was camped out in the left faceoff circle when defenseman Jaroslav Spacek sent over a pass that Briere one-timed past Weekes for his fourth of the season.

Weekes held his ground thereafter by making several nice saves before letting in the equalizer with 11:47 remaining in the third period.

Briere put an innocent shot on net that Weekes couldn't handle. Jason Pominville came crashing in and lifted the loose rebound under the crossbar for his ninth goal of the season and seventh in the last eight games.

Playing for the first time since October 21, Martin Biron turned aside 26 shots for Buffalo. Aside from allowing three goals in the second period, he stopped all 20 shots he faced.

"When we were down, 3-1, everybody battled as hard as they could," he said. "But when you don't play a lot, it makes it harder to stay in the game and battle. The mind seems to go off on its own sometimes. But when it's 3-3, your head is back into the game and that's what you want."

Michael Nylander contributed a goal and an assist and Petr Prucha also tallied for the Rangers, who had won the final two games of their recently completed four-game road trip.

"We came off the road trip and played a very good hockey club with a lot of confidence," Jagr said. "We thought we would win, but it just didn't happen."

Weekes finished with 24 saves but still allowed at least three goals for the third time in four starts this season. It was his first home appearance of the campaign.

"They have been an elite team in the league probably since last February," Weekes said. "We gave out best effort and we got a point from it. We are certainly pleased with that."

No one has shouted yet.
Be the first!