Minnesota (2-6-0) at Buffalo (5-4-0)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Buffalo, NY
Temp: 34° F
  • Game info: 7:00 pm EST Tue Oct 28, 2003
  • TV: FSM
Preview | Box Score | Recap

After scoring the sixth-fewest goals in the NHL last season, the Buffalo Sabres acquired center Chris Drury in an attempt to bolster the club’s offense.

So far, the acquisition has paid off.

Drury looks to extend his career-high point streak to eight games, and the Sabres try to win their fourth straight when they host the Minnesota Wild.

Buffalo managed to score just 190 goals last season in finishing last in the Northeast Division, causing the team to acquire Drury from the Calgary Flames on July 3 for Rhett Warrener and Steve Reinprecht.

The trade didn’t look so good in the Sabres’ first two games of the season, as they suffered consecutive shutouts to the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Islanders.

But since those defeats, Buffalo has found its scoring touch. The Sabres have scored 21 goals in winning five of their last seven games, with Drury recording two goals and seven assists during that span.

Drury helped Buffalo extend its winning streak to three games, scoring with 2:29 left for his first game-winner as the Sabres beat the Colorado Avalanche 3-1 on Sunday.

“We targeted him as a guy that scores big goals in clutch situations,” Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff said. “That was a big goal for us on this road trip.”

The Sabres finished their franchise-high, six-game trip with a 4-2 mark.

“It’s nice to win the game,” Drury said. “It was a major win for our club.”

Minnesota snapped its five-game winless streak with a 4-3 win over the Florida Panthers on Friday for its first road win of the season. The Wild, however, returned to their losing ways Saturday with a 3-2 road loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Marc Chouinard put the Wild ahead 2-0 on power-play goals 1:04 apart in the first period, but Minnesota failed to hold on to the lead.

The Wild went 19 minutes without a shot before Bouchard ended the drought with 10:40 left in the second. Minnesota then went the final 10 minutes of the period without a shot.

“Our first 20 (minutes) was great and then we backed off a little bit,” Minnesota defenseman Brad Bombardir said. “A team like that—a team that’s so creative and moves the puck so well—they’re going to take advantage of it and they did.”

STANDINGS (through Oct. 26): Wild - 5 points, 5th place, 5 PB, Northwest Division. Sabres - 10 points, 3rd place (tied), 2 PB, Northeast Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Wild - Alexandre Daigle, 3 goals; Bouchard, 5 assists and 7 points; Matt Johnson, 27 PIM. Sabres - Taylor Pyatt, 5 goals; Drury, 7 assists and 9 points; Andrew Peters, 39 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Oct. 26): Wild - Power play: 14.0 percent (7 for 50), 22nd (tied) in NHL. Penalty killing: 84.8 percent (39 for 46), 12th. Sabres - Power play: 19.6 percent (9 for 46), 9th. Penalty killing: 84.2 percent (48 for 57), 13th.

GOALTENDERS: Wild - Manny Fernandez (1-3-0, 3.02 GAA); Dwayne Roloson (1-3-1, 2.73). Sabres - Martin Biron (4-1-0, 2.31); Mika Noronen (1-1-0, 1 SO, 2.25).

2002-03 SEASON SERIES: 1-1.

LAST MEETING: Jan. 14; Sabres, 1-0. At St. Paul, Minn., Denis Hamel scored with 12:24 remaining on a pass from the corner from Miroslav Satan, and Ryan Miller recorded his first career shutout.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Wild - 1-3-0-0 on the road; Sabres - 1-1-0-0 at home.

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