teammates couldn't help but smile a little.
height=90 align=right alt="Curtis Brown">
Brown recorded his first NHL hat trick, and Martin Biron earned
his first shutout of the season as the Sabres beat the Anaheim
Mighty Ducks 4-0 on Wednesday night.
"November was real tough on us, and tonight the best part was
the win,'' Brown said after Buffalo won for just the second time in
18 games. "When you have success at a team game like this, it's
Brown has six goals in nine games since sitting out Nov. 12, and
had his ninth career multigoal game.
"It's real neat,'' Brown said. "You don't really think of it,
and then all of a sudden it happens. I've been in situations where
you get two quick (goals) and then don't even touch the puck the
rest of the night.''
Biron made 22 saves in his 12th career shutout.
"Every bounce went for us,'' Biron said. "Guys were in the
right position. We need a lot more of that.''
Martin Gerber, Anaheim's rookie backup goaltender, made 32 saves
as the Ducks lost back-to-back games in regulation for the first
time since October 26 and 28.
"They outworked us from the beginning to the end,'' Anaheim
coach Mike Babcock said. "They deserve the credit for the win.''
J. P. Dumont put Buffalo up 1-0 with his fifth goal at the 5:13
mark of the second, swatting a rebound from the slot after Stu
Barnes shot from beside the net.
Brown made it 2-0 with a power-play goal with 3:08 remaining.
Gerber made a pad save on Miroslav Satan's shot from the point, and
Brian Campbell leaped across the slot to provide a screen as Brown
fired the rebound into the net.
The goal snapped the Sabres' 0-for-28 slump with a man
advantage, dating to Nov. 19 at New Jersey.
Brown got his second of the game 23 seconds into the third,
wristing a shot from the right faceoff circle over Gerber's left
He completed the hat trick with 7:13 to go, sliding across the
slot to net a rebound as a power play was expiring.
"It speaks for itself what Curtis did,'' Ruff said. "He
dominated on faceoffs. He did a great job penalty killing. He's at
that time of his career where we need him as one of those offensive
Biron won for the first time since Oct. 22. He ended an
11-game (0-9-2) winless streak. ... Buffalo defenseman Henrik Tallinder returned after missing 10 of the previous 11 games with a
shoulder injury. He assisted on Brown's third goal. ... Sabres
defenseman Alexei Zhitnik remains out with a broken foot. ...
Anaheim was shut out for the second time in six games. They also
lost 4-0 to Dallas on Nov. 22.