Pyatt scored the tiebreaking goal with 11:56 remaining to cap his second consecutive two-goal game, and Briere had three assists as the Buffalo Sabres rallied for a 5-2 victory over the Anaheim Mighty Ducks on Friday night.
“It’s a funny thing. Sometimes you get put with guys you’ve never played with before and it just seems to click,” said Pyatt, who began the season with center Curtis Brown and right wing Maxim Afinogenov as linemates.
“I’ve been switched around quite a bit, but now I have the opportunity with Chris and Danny, and I’m trying to find as much open ice as I can and get open for those guys to find me. So you just try to ride the wave when you get a little confidence.”
After getting outshot 17-6 and outscored 2-0 in the second period, the Sabres tied it 2-all with 16:19 left to play. Dmitri Kalinin scored into a wide-open net from 25 feet after Briere’s wraparound attempt caromed out into the slot.
“We were fortunate to have the lead to begin with—and for us to come out the way we did in the third period is unacceptable,” said Lupul, whose mother was already holding the puck from his first goal during the third period. “Even before they tied it up, we weren’t playing with enough intensity or sustaining any pressure in their zone. We quit playing hard.”
Pyatt, who had a power-play goal and a short-handed goal in Buffalo’s 5-1 win at Los Angeles Thursday night, got his fifth of the season when he converted his own rebound after getting a pass from Briere.
Pyatt, in his third season with the Sabres since being obtained in the Michael Peca trade, has 11 goals in his last 18 regular-season games.
“He’s a young player who is just coming into his own,” Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. “He was second on our team last year in even-strength goals, which tells you that he scored the tough goals. He got on a roll at the end of the year. I thought he dominated tonight.”
Adam Mair scored about four minutes later, beating Jean-Sebastien Giguere high to the glove side after defenseman Todd Simpson failed to clear a rebound. J.P. Dumont ended the scoring on a short backhander with 3:26 left, while Sykora was off for slashing Alexei Zhitnik.
“It’s a recurring theme for us right now—spurts of hard work. It’s hurting us,” Anaheim captain Steve Rucchin said. “We need to start acting like professionals and do what’s asked of us.
“We seem to play hard just when it’s convenient for us. We think we can go out there and take a couple of shifts off. The other teams are taking advantage of that,” Rucchin said.
Buffalo goalie Martin Biron, who had 34 saves, turned aside two good scoring chances 31 seconds apart by Vaclav Prospal and Sergei Fedorov during an Anaheim power play early in the second period. But the Ducks tied it 1-all just nine seconds after Briere finished serving his boarding penalty, as Lupul stationed himself at the left of the net and converted Rob Niedermayer’s pass from the right circle at 2:32.
The Ducks took a 2-1 lead at 15:51 of the second when Prospal’s attempted centering pass for Rucchin caromed off the skate of Buffalo defenseman RoryFitzpatrick and past Biron.
Lupul, 20, was the seventh overall pick in the 2002 draft. … The Sabres have outscored their opponents 16-6 in their four wins—and have been outscored 18-2 in four losses. … Samuel Pahlsson, Craig Johnson and Jason Krog are the only forwards who have played all eight games for Anaheim without recording a point. … The Sabres have scored a power-play goal in six straightgames.