Edmonton goaltender Steve Passmore waited patiently to show what he could do in the NHL. He's finally getting his chance and making the most of it.
Passmore, making his third NHL start, made 29 saves in a 5-3 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday night. It was his first NHL victory after a loss and a tie last week.
"It's nice to get that first one," said the 26-year-old Passmore, recalled Feb. 22 from Hamilton.
Passmore ranked third in the AHL in goals-against average, save percentage, wins and shutouts and had logged more games and minutes than any other goaltender in the league. "Hopefully, I'll get another start (in the NHL) and another win," he said.
Chances are pretty good that he'll get both.
"He made some great saves late in the game," Oilers coach Ron Low said. "Good for him. It couldn't happen to a nicer guy."
Boris Mironov and Bill Guerin each scored twice for Edmonton, and Buffalo native Todd Marchant also scored for the Oilers. Guerin's empty-netter capped the scoring.
Michael Peca scored twice for Buffalo and Jason Woolley had a goal and an assist for the Sabres.
"We can't put up five or six goals," Woolley said. "Obviously we're not doing a good job in our own end, and that's killing us."
The Sabres coughed up the puck for a pair of goals as the Oilers took a 2-0 lead in the first period. Guerin's slap shot from the top of the faceoff circle to the left of goaltender Dwayne Roloson caught the net just inside the far post at 7:12.
The Sabres have gone 2-2-2 since Roloson replaced injured Dominik Hasek, who has been nursing a strained groin.
"It was my fault that we lost," said Roloson, who started in the Sabres' 6-3 loss to the Oilers on Friday. "To get run out by the same team twice, that's pretty bad."
"I don't know if you can fault Dwayne when someone's teeing it up from the hash marks," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said.
Marchant, who scored two goals including the game winner in Edmonton's win over Buffalo last week, scored the game's second goal at 9:35 when Buffalo left the puck sitting in the slot and left Marchant uncovered.
Woolley scored first for the Sabres when he took a pass from Michal Grosek and skated behind the net for a wraparound goal at 14:50. Woolley fed Peca in front for the tying goal at 16:37.
Mironov's two goals restored Edmonton's two-goal lead in the second period. He scored off a faceoff at 9:20 with a shot through a screen, assisted by Josef Beranek with the teams skating four-on-four.
Mironov added his 11th goal on the power play with a rising wrist shot from the point at 11:34. It was the fourth career multi-goal game for Mironov, who extended his goal-scoring streak to four games.
The Sabres replaced Roloson with 21-year-old Martin Biron after Mironov's second goal, which made it 4-2. Roloson faced 13 shots and made nine saes in place of Hasek, who has been day-to-day with the Sabres but could play as soon as Friday.
Biron made 12 saves. Playing for Rochester this season, Biron faced Passmore eight times.
"Steve played really well," Biron said. "He deserved his first NHL win. He got a little lucky, but you make your own luck."
Peca popped in a pass from Satan in the slot for his 24th goal at 6:25. It was Peca's eighth career multi-goal game and his fourth of the season.
Satan has 12 points (7-5) in his last 10 games, including a six-game goal streak. The Sabres are 2-8-1 in their last 11 games with Edmonton.
Buffalo blew some chances to tie the game. Midway through the third period Brian Holzinger flipped the puck over an open net. Curtis Brown hit the side of an open net during a Sabres power play with five minutes to play.
"Penalties, giving up early goals," Peca said. "Those are the things that get you out of a rhythm. We just have to emphasize the first goal and staying out of the penalty box."
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