Sabres Bully Bruins


Buffalo rookie goaltender Martin Biron can finally relax and Vaclav Varada can finally shave.

Biron posted his fourth straight win in place of injured Dominik Hasek and Varada scored his first goal in 45 games as Buffalo snapped Boston's six-game winning streak with a 6-2 victory Wednesday night.

Biron (6-1) made 21 saves, including 12 in the first period, and the Sabres (7-7-2) won their fourth straight and sixth of their last seven after starting out 0-5-2.

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  • Varada triggered a burst of three unanswered goals in the second period with his first goal since January, ending a season-long boycott against shaving.

    "I decided I wasn't going to shave until I got a goal," said Varada, whose long wrist shot off a defenseman and Boston goalie Byron Dafoe surprised everyone.

    Erik Rasmussen and Miroslav Satan also scored for Buffalo. Alexei Zhitnik, Maxim Afinogenov and Jay McKee each scored his first goal of the season for the Sabres, who outshot the Bruins 35-23.

    "I feel comfortable," said Biron, who filled in for Hasek after the five-time Vezina Trophy winner and two-time league MVP injured his groin Oct. 29. "It's been that way for some time now."

    Joe Thornton scored on a deflection and Steve Heinze added an unassisted goal on a power play in the third period for Boston (6-6-4), which had won six straight after going winless in its first nine games.

    "They played well and we stunk," said Bruins defenseman Don Sweeney. "There's no reason for it, really. We just didn't do the right things tonight."

    Dafoe, playing in only his second game of the season since ending a holdout and signing a new contract, was pulled midway through the second period after allowing four goals on 20 shots. He was replaced by Robbie Tallas.

    "We've had problems here in the past, and we talked about it before the game," Dafoe said. "We had problems again, and it was definitely not a very good effort."

    Buffalo, routinely outshot last season as Hasek kept the team alive in low-scoring games, has scored 16 goals for Biron in the last four.

    The Sabres insisted they're not necessarily playing better with Biron in net; they're just playing better.

    "We played like a pack off wolves," said defenseman Jason Woolley, who assisted on Satan's goal.

    Rasmussen tipped Richard Smehlik's shot from the point over Dafoe's pad at 10:53 of the first period for a 1-0 lead.

    Varada scored from inside the Boston blue line at 4:04 of the second. Varada knocked Anson Carter down and his wrist shot deflected off defenseman Mattias Timander and rattled in off Dafoe's stick.

    "I thought it went over the glass," said Varada, who looked for the puck in the stands before he realized it had landed in the net.

    Asked if his teammates had offered any tips to help get him out of his slump, Varada said: "They told me to shave."

    Satan scored for a 3-0 lead at 6:18 of the second with a pass from Woolley, who found Satan for the one-timer.

    "We just weren't ready to play," Bruins wing Dave Andreychuk said. "We didn't do anything."

    Zhitnik scored his first of the season for a 4-0 lead on a power play at 10:25. Woolley passed to Michael Peca, whose shot caromed off Ray Bourque's stick to Zhitnik in front.

    Afinogenov scored his first NHL goal for a 5-2 lead at 10:29.

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