for this game

Afinogenov, Kotalik, Pominville score two goals each for Sabres

Dec 22, 2006 - 7:46 AM
NASHVILLE, Tennessee (Ticker) -- Buffalo Sabres coach Lindy Ruff relied on a variety of weapons to extend the league's best road record.

Maxim Afinogenov, Ales Kotalik and Jason Pominville scored two goals apiece and Derek Roy added three assists as the Sabres posted a 7-2 victory over the Nashville Predators.

Buffalo won for the 15th time in 18 road contests and avoided its first three-game losing streak of the campaign by snapping Nashville's five-game winning streak. It was the only encounter of the season for both teams.

"We had a lot of things go our way tonight," Ruff said after the Sabres scored twice on the power play. "Tonight, we caught some breaks and the puck went in the net. You have to take advantage when those opportunities start to go for you. I was happy with our special teams."

"There is no question, they are a very good team," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "Tonight, we got taught how to play by the Buffalo Sabres. They jumped on us really quick with a lot of pressure early."

Afinogenov scored his 15th goal with 4:42 left in the second period when he skated from the right point and flipped a shot in front past goaltender Chris Mason's right pad for a 4-1 lead.

Just 2:27 later, Afinogenov completed his second multi-goal game of the campaign by one-timing Roy's cross-ice feed inside the right goalpost. After the period, Nashville replaced Mason with Michael Leighton.

"We came in here and we knew that they were a very good team at home with a good record," Afinogenov said. "We just tried to play good defensively and use our chances to score. We had more rest than them, so we tried to jump on them early and we got two goals."

Kotalik opened the scoring just 33 seconds into the game and added a power-play goal late in the third session with his ninth tally, giving him his first two-goal game of the season.

"We wanted a fast start and we had one," Kotalik said. "We lost two in a row before tonight and we did not want to make that three."

Pominville also scored in the first and third periods, including a power-play tally with 2:22 remaining for his initial multi-goal contest of the campaign.

"It's always nice when you get two goals and contribute to the winning cause," Pominville said. "They were a team that was hot and playing extremely well at home. We had lost our previous two games and we knew that they played last night, so we wanted to get on them early."

Defenseman Toni Lydman netted his first goal of the season and netminder Martin Biron made 29 saves for Buffalo, which leads the league with 136 tallies.

"We knew we had to get our game together tonight since we didn't play all that well against Montreal two nights ago," Biron said. "Going on the road, we have made a strong mark this year. We knew that tonight, we had to play like we have all year on the road. It is the way we are successful."

Martin Erat scored shorthanded, Jason Arnott added his eighth tally and Mason stopped 21 shots for the Predators, who absorbed only their second regulation loss in 14 home games.

"That was not the effort we were looking for tonight," Erat said. "We didn't play the way we needed to against one of the best teams in the league. We were at home and we usually play well here."

Mason fell to 9-4-1 in his 14th consecutive start in place of Tomas Vokoun, who is sidelined with torn tendon in his hand.

"They are the best team out East and we didn't play our best," Mason said. "If you give a team like that time to do what they want, they are going to kill you and we got killed. ... You can say we were tired, but every other team has to do this too."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUFFALO 2 3 2 7
    NASHVILLE 1 0 1 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: BUF - ALES KOTALIK 8 (BRIAN CAMPBELL) 0:33
    BUF - JASON POMINVILLE 14 (DANIEL BRIERE, JAROSLAV SPACEK)
    5:43
    NAS - (SH) MARTIN ERAT 7 (DAVID LEGWAND, KIMMO TIMONEN) 8:57
    2ND PRD: BUF - TONI LYDMAN 1 (JIRI NOVOTNY, JASO

    Dec 21 10:31 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 7
    NASHVILLE 2
    3RD PRD: BUF - (PP) JASON POMINVILLE 15 (DEREK ROY) 17:28

    Sabres vs. PredatorsDec 21 10:29 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 6
    NASHVILLE 2
    3RD PRD: BUF - (PP) ALES KOTALIK 9 (NATHAN PAETSCH, PAUL GAUSTAD)
    17:03

    Sabres vs. PredatorsDec 21 10:29 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 5
    NASHVILLE 2
    3RD PRD: NAS - (PP) JASON ARNOTT 8 (STEVE SULLIVAN, RYAN SUTER) 3:02

    Sabres vs. PredatorsDec 21 10:00 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUFFALO 2 3 5
    NASHVILLE 1 0 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: BUF - ALES KOTALIK 8 (BRIAN CAMPBELL) 0:33
    BUF - JASON POMINVILLE 14 (DANIEL BRIERE, JAROSLAV SPACEK)
    5:43
    NAS - (SH) MARTIN ERAT 7 (DAVID LEGWAND, KIMMO TIMONEN) 8:57
    2ND PRD: BUF - TONI LYDMAN 1 (JIRI

    Dec 21 9:37 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 5
    NASHVILLE 1
    2ND PRD: BUF - MAXIM AFINOGENOV 16 (DEREK ROY, THOMAS VANEK) 17:45

    Sabres vs. PredatorsDec 21 9:35 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 4
    NASHVILLE 1
    2ND PRD: BUF - MAXIM AFINOGENOV 15 (DEREK ROY, TONI LYDMAN) 15:18

    Sabres vs. PredatorsDec 21 9:30 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 3
    NASHVILLE 1
    2ND PRD: BUF - TONI LYDMAN 1 (JIRI NOVOTNY, JASON POMINVILLE) 5:25

    Sabres vs. PredatorsDec 21 9:11 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUFFALO 2 2
    NASHVILLE 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: BUF - ALES KOTALIK 8 (BRIAN CAMPBELL) 0:33
    BUF - JASON POMINVILLE 14 (DANIEL BRIERE, JAROSLAV SPACEK)
    5:43
    NAS - (SH) MARTIN ERAT 7 (DAVID LEGWAND, KIMMO TIMONEN) 8:57
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD

    Dec 21 8:45 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 2
    NASHVILLE 1
    1ST PRD: NAS - (SH) MARTIN ERAT 7 (DAVID LEGWAND, KIMMO TIMONEN) 8:57

    Sabres vs. PredatorsDec 21 8:25 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 2
    NASHVILLE 0
    1ST PRD: BUF - JASON POMINVILLE 14 (DANIEL BRIERE, JAROSLAV SPACEK)
    5:43

    Sabres vs. PredatorsDec 21 8:19 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 1
    NASHVILLE 0
    1ST PRD: BUF - ALES KOTALIK 8 (BRIAN CAMPBELL) 0:33

    Sabres vs. PredatorsDec 21 8:11 PM