Tyler Myers had a goal and assist, and Ryan Miller made 40 saves to lift the Buffalo Sabres to a 4-1 win over the Atlanta Thrashers on Wednesday night in front of new Sabres owner Pegula, who spent the majority of the game in the back of the owner's box watching it on TV with three of the most famous players in team history.
"I had a great time," said Pegula, who admitted he nearly fell over at center ice during a pregame ceremony when the Sabres' 1970s "French Connection" line of Gilbert Perreault, Rick Martin and Rene Robert skated toward him.
The Sabres and Thrashers came in tied for ninth place in the Eastern Conference with 60 points. With the win, Buffalo moved within three points of idle Carolina for the eighth and final playoff spot with two games in hand.
Down by a goal after the first period, Ladd tied it at 1 for Atlanta with a power-play tally 5:31 into the second period. He corralled a loose puck at the edge of the crease near the left post before lifting it over a sprawled Miller for his team-leading 22nd goal.
Gaustad restored Buffalo's lead with his ninth of the season with 1:08 left in the second, and Pominville pushed the advantage to 3-1 when he banged home a rebound off Myers' shot from the point 30 seconds later.
"It was a good all-around effort," Myers said. "We did exactly what we wanted to do in the third, getting that fourth goal. There were still moments where I thought we could have been better, but for the most part it was good."
NOTES: Sabres D Steve Montador played in his 500th career NHL game. … Buffalo waived captain Craig Rivet hours before the game. … Thrashers defenseman Dustin Byfuglien had an assist on Ladd's goal. He entered as the fourth-leading scorer among defensemen with 45 points. … Atlanta has scored at least one power-play goal in four of its past six games. … Miller improved to 5-0-1 in his past six home starts against the Thrashers. … Buffalo finishes the homestand against Ottawa on Friday and Detroit on Saturday.
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