for this game

Stafford's hat trick helps Sabres end 10-game slide

Jan 19, 2008 - 5:32 AM
BUFFALO, New York (Ticker) -- Drew Stafford's career night finally gave the Buffalo Sabres a reason to celebrate in 2008.

Stafford notched his first career hat trick and set up two other goals and Derek Roy also tallied three times as the Sabres snapped a franchise-record 10-game losing streak Friday night with a 10-1 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers.

Thomas Vanek and Jochen Hecht each added a goal and two assists for Buffalo, which lost five times in a shootout during its slide that started after a season-best six-game winning streak.

"It's kind of fitting - 10-game skid and 10 goals. The world works in mysterious ways," Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller said. "It's nice to snap it, but it's more important what we do with it."

It was the biggest margin of victory for the Sabres since they defeated the Los Angeles Kings by the same score on January 14, 2006. It also marked the first time this season a team has reached double figures in goals.

"We weren't trying to do anything too special. We wanted to outwork them," Stafford said. "It feels good to win finally. It's a little different than what we've been feeling."

For Stafford, his five-point performance surpassed his previous career high of two. The 22-year-old right wing had not scored a goal in his previous eight games.

After losing a series of close contests, the Sabres left little doubt in this one, scoring four goals in the first 10 minutes.

"The past few games, we've been working hard and playing well," Stafford said. "The pucks haven't been going in. A lot of guys were due for some points, but the team needed it."

Daniel Paille began the onslaught at 1:54 of the first period, batting a loose puck out of mid-air and past goaltender Johan Hedberg off a rebound while beside the net. It was Paille's ninth goal of the season and fourth in as many games.

Stafford then scored on the power play at 5:14, capitalizing on a lucky bounce. Hedberg went behind the net to collect the puck, but it took an an usual hop and popped into the slot to Stafford, who converted into an open target.

"I wish those bounces would have been around a week ago and a couple of days ago," Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff said. "It's funny how the game goes."

Roy, who missed the previous four games with an injured shoulder, increased the advantage to 3-0 just 23 seconds later on a backhander from the slot. The 24-year-old center struck again at 9:07, when he tucked in the rebound of his own shot to give Buffalo a four-goal lead and chase Hedberg.

Hedberg made just seven saves, but his replacement did not fare much better. Kari Lehtonen yielded three goals on 21 shots before Hedberg returned for the third period.

"It looked like two evenly matched teams before the game," Lehtonen said. "I went out and did my best, but it didn't work."

"We're going to write it off as one of those games," Atlanta coach Don Waddell added. "We've played too well lately to let one game sink us for the season. We're not happy, but we'll deal with it."

Colin Stuart netted a shorthanded goal with 9:52 left in the first period to cut the deficit to 4-1, forcing a turnover and wristing the puck past Miller on a breakaway.

Stuart's tally failed to turn the momentum as Buffalo notched three more goals in the middle session to take a 7-1 lead.

Hecht tallied his 15th of the season at 5:30, backhanding a shot from the slot past Lehtonen after receiving a lead pass from Jason Pominville.

Roy then completed his third career hat trick with 5:19 remaining, when Paille's shot deflected off his skate while he was falling to the ice after Thrashers defenseman Ken Klee pushed him into the crease.

"As long as the puck goes in the net and we're winning the game, it's all good," Roy said.

Vanek scored on a power play with 45 seconds remaining in the second to give Buffalo the six-goal advantage. Parked to the right of the net, he tipped in defenseman Dmitri Kalinin's shot from the left circle.

After exiting the penalty box and receiving a pass from Michael Ryan for a breakaway, Stafford deked Hedberg and stuffed in his second goal of the night to give the Sabres an 8-1 lead at 7:53 of the third.

Stafford capped his career night with another goal with 8:22 left. Ales Kotalik scored on a man advantage with 2:18 remaining to provide the final margin.

Miller made 23 saves and helped the Sabres successfully kill five penalties.






  • 15
    roots
    McTool Added 5 roots

    Thrashers vs. SabresJan 18 10:20 PM


  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATLANTA 1 0 0 1
    BUFFALO 4 3 3 10 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: BUF - DANIEL PAILLE 9 (ALES KOTALIK, PAUL GAUSTAD) 1:54
    BUF - (PP) DREW STAFFORD 9 (JASON POMINVILLE, BRIAN
    CAMPBELL) 5:14
    BUF - DEREK ROY 14 (DREW STAFFORD, THOMAS VANEK) 5:37
    BUF - DEREK ROY 15 (DREW STAFFORD, THOM

    Jan 18 10:19 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 1
    BUFFALO 10
    3RD PRD: BUF - (PP) ALES KOTALIK 14 (BRIAN CAMPBELL, JOCHEN HECHT)
    17:42

    Thrashers vs. SabresJan 18 10:18 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 1
    BUFFALO 9
    3RD PRD: BUF - DREW STAFFORD 11 (TONI LYDMAN, THOMAS VANEK) 11:38

    Thrashers vs. SabresJan 18 9:56 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 1
    BUFFALO 8
    3RD PRD: BUF - DREW STAFFORD 10 (MICHAEL RYAN, DMITRI KALININ) 7:53

    Thrashers vs. SabresJan 18 9:55 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATLANTA 1 0 1
    BUFFALO 4 3 7 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: BUF - DANIEL PAILLE 9 (ALES KOTALIK, PAUL GAUSTAD) 1:54
    BUF - (PP) DREW STAFFORD 9 (JASON POMINVILLE, BRIAN
    CAMPBELL) 5:14
    BUF - DEREK ROY 14 (DREW STAFFORD, THOMAS VANEK) 5:37
    BUF - DEREK ROY 15 (DREW S

    Jan 18 9:18 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 1
    BUFFALO 7
    2ND PRD: BUF - (PP) THOMAS VANEK 13 (DMITRI KALININ, JOCHEN HECHT)
    19:15

    Thrashers vs. SabresJan 18 9:18 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 1
    BUFFALO 6
    2ND PRD: BUF - DANIEL PAILLE 10 (DMITRI KALININ, ALES KOTALIK) 14:41

    Thrashers vs. SabresJan 18 9:09 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 1
    BUFFALO 5
    2ND PRD: BUF - JOCHEN HECHT 15 (JASON POMINVILLE, DANIEL PAILLE) 5:30

    Thrashers vs. SabresJan 18 8:45 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATLANTA 1 1
    BUFFALO 4 4 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: BUF - DANIEL PAILLE 9 (ALES KOTALIK, PAUL GAUSTAD) 1:54
    BUF - (PP) DREW STAFFORD 9 (JASON POMINVILLE, BRIAN
    CAMPBELL) 5:14
    BUF - DEREK ROY 14 (DREW STAFFORD, THOMAS VANEK) 5:37
    BUF - DEREK ROY 15 (DREW S

    Jan 18 8:19 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 1
    BUFFALO 4
    1ST PRD: ATL - (SH) COLIN STUART 3 (UNASSISTED) 10:08

    Thrashers vs. SabresJan 18 8:02 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 0
    BUFFALO 4
    1ST PRD: BUF - DEREK ROY 15 (DREW STAFFORD, THOMAS VANEK) 9:07

    Thrashers vs. SabresJan 18 8:01 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 0
    BUFFALO 3
    1ST PRD: BUF - DEREK ROY 14 (DREW STAFFORD, THOMAS VANEK) 5:37

    Thrashers vs. SabresJan 18 7:54 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 0
    BUFFALO 2
    1ST PRD: BUF - (PP) DREW STAFFORD 9 (JASON POMINVILLE, BRIAN CAMPBELL)
    5:14

    Thrashers vs. SabresJan 18 7:53 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 0
    BUFFALO 1
    1ST PRD: BUF - DANIEL PAILLE 9 (ALES KOTALIK, PAUL GAUSTAD) 1:54

    Thrashers vs. SabresJan 18 7:46 PM
  • 10
    roots
    bore Added 5 roots

    Thrashers vs. SabresJan 18 7:33 PM
  • 5
    roots
    anorexicivan Added 5 roots

    Thrashers vs. SabresJan 18 7:11 PM