Buffalo (36-21-10) at Atlanta (28-29-11)
The Sabres visited the Thrashers Tuesday night as the second game of a current five game road trip. Buffalo was coming off of back to back losses against Minnesota and Detroit.
Just 33 seconds into the game, Nik Antropov put Atlanta in the lead. The Sabres fell behind by a pair of goals in the two games prior to this one, and the Thrashers were trying to do the same. Former Sabre Maxim Afinogenov assisted on the goal.
Bryan Little scored the second goal for the Thrashers, putting the Sabres down by two goals early in the game once again. Another former Sabre, Clarke MacArthur, assisted on the play.
Buffalo had an opportunity on a power play directly after the Thrashers' second goal of the game. Jason Pominville beat Johan Hedberg for the power play goal and the Sabres were down 2-1. Five minutes into the game, there was already plenty of action with three goals scored.
The Sabres bounced back again with a goal from Matt Ellis, who deflected the shot past Hedberg to make it 3-2. About halfway through the third, the Sabres tied the game at three. Steve Montador took a shot that bounced off of Tim Kennedy's stick and into the net.
Miller gave the puck away behind the net, which resulted in another Atlanta goal. Afinogenov tallied the third Thrashers goal, forcing Miller to be pulled from the game. Miller didn't last six minutes as Patrick Lalime came in to replace him.
Atlanta then took the lead again on a goal by Jim Slater. The rebound off a shot from Nicklas Bergfors bounced off of Slater's glove and beat Lalime to give the Thrashers a 4-3 lead with just over six minutes to go in the third period.
Adam Mair took a tripping penalty with less than two minutes remaining, hurting the chances of tying the game even more. The Sabres had a few shots with the goaltender pulled, but the Thrashers held on to win for its first time in seven games.
Once again, the first period is what hurt the Sabres the most. Buffalo has now dropped three straight games and are now slumping again. Lalime only allowed one goal on 21 shots, but the three goals on five shots against Miller was too much for Buffalo.
The game marked the fourth and final meeting of the season between these two teams. With Atlanta's win, the teams split the series with two wins each. Buffalo still has a three point lead in the Northeast Division over Ottawa with a couple of games in hand.
Kevin "Slumping Sabres" Freiheit