Martin Biron may not want to relinquish the job as Buffalo’s starting goaltender just yet.
Biron looks to extend his personal winning streak to 11 games when the Sabres welcome the Dallas Stars to the HSBC Arena.
Buffalo is 11-1-1 in its last 13 while Dallas has won five in a row and is 13-2-0 in its last 15 games.
The Sabres’ surprising rise to second place in the Northeast Division ha been fueled by Biron, who reclaimed the starting job after Miller was placed on injured reserve with a fractured thumb.
Biron has gone 12-4-1 with a 3.05 goals-against average in Miller’s absence and hasn’t lost a start since a 6-1 decision against Ottawa on Nov. 12. He’s allowed three goals or less in eight of the 10 games during the streak and could become the first goalie to win 11 straight starts Martin Brodeur of the New Jersey Devils did so from Feb. 26-March 21, 2001.
Streaks aside, Miller is close to returning, which leaves Biron’s future as a starter in doubt.
“We haven’t been on a roll this good since I’ve been here and I’m not going to be the one to make it change,” said Biron, who is 4-2-0 with a 2.36 GAA against the Stars in his career. “Yeah, I want to play. Yeah, I want to keep the streak going. I want to bring this team as far as I can. But the No. 1 priority is that the team is doing well.”
In a 3-2 win Sunday over the Minnesota Wild, Biron made 34 saves to surpass the team record of nine straight wins he shared with Gerry Desjardins, who set the mark in 1976-77.
Mike Grier scored the game-winner at 16:28 of the third.
“When games are close in the third period or tied, we have the confidence that we can come back and win that game or tie it up,” Grier said.
Dallas struck again on the power play in a 2-1 win Saturday over the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Jon Klemm’s first goal of the season in the opening period extended Dallas’ streak of scoring with the man advantage to a franchise-record 18 games.
“How about that power-play streak?” said Dallas coach Dave Tippett. “We joked about that one after the game. That will go down in the record books, but to draw it up from Klemm from (Martin) Skoula and (Stephane) Robidas, I don’t know about that.”
Lehtinen has seven goals and 11 points in 13 career games against the Sabres.
STANDINGS (through Dec. 13): Stars - 39 points, 1st place, Pacific Division. Sabres - 39 points, 2nd place, 7 PB, Northeast Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Stars - Lehtinen, 15 goals; Mike Modano, 17 assists; Modano and Jason Arnott, 26 points; Steve Ott, 71 PIM. Sabres - Ales Kotalik, 14 goals; Teppo Numminen, 19 assists; Tim Connolly, 22 points; Maxim Afinogenov, 32 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through Dec. 13): Stars - Power play: 17.8 percent (32 for 179), tied for 14th in NHL. Penalty killing: 83 percent (147 for 177), 12th. Sabres - Power play: 21.1 percent (37 for 175), 4th. Penalty killing: 83.4 percent (131 for 157), 10th.
2003-04 SEASON SERIES: Sabres, 1-0.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Stars - 9-2-0 on the road; Sabres - 9-5-1 at home.