Sabres 7, Bruins 1

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) – Daniel Briere netted his second career hat trick, and Jason Pominville and Thomas Vanek added a goal and an assist each to give the Buffalo Sabres a 7-1 victory over the slumping Boston Bruins on Tuesday night.

Chris Drury and Paul Gaustad also scored for the Sabres, who snapped a season-high, three-game regulation losing streak by beating the Bruins for the sixth straight time at home.

Maxim Afinogenov posted three assists for Buffalo, which went 6-7-1 in January.

Glen Murray scored for the Bruins, who lost their seventh straight road game. Boston has been outscored 19-3 during a four-game losing streak overall.

Briere, who had a three-goal game last month at Tampa Bay, became the fifth Buffalo player to record 20 this season when he netted his second of the night in the middle period. The Sabres are the only NHL team with five 20-goal scorers.

Buffalo backup Martin Biron, inserted into the nets to give Ryan Miller a break, made 25 saves in winning for the first time since Jan. 6.

Vanek opened the scoring for the Sabres with his 25th just 2:15 in while Buffalo had a two-man advantage. Drury made it 2-0 with another power-play goal after Nathan Paetsch’s shot from the point went off his skate and past goalie Hannu Toivonen. It was Drury’s team-leading 27th.

Murray cut Boston’s deficit to 2-1 with his team-leading 24th, scored while the Bruins had a two-man advantage. He one-timed Marc Savard’s pass while standing in the left circle.

Buffalo broke the game open with four goals in the second, including two by All-Star MVP Briere, who played his first home game since earning the honors last Wednesday in Dallas.

Briere and Gaustad scored 79 seconds apart 6 minutes in, and Briere capped the big period with a goal at 17:24. He scored his third with 8 minutes left in the game, lifting the puck over sprawling goalie Tim Thomas.

Thomas replaced Toivonen to start the third period and finished with 11 saves. Toivonen made 17 saves in his third start in five games.

Notes: Toivonen relieved Thomas on Monday during the second period of Boston’s 6-1 home loss to the New York Rangers. … Sabres D Henrik Tallinder returned from an ankle injury that forced him to miss 11 games. … Buffalo forward Jiri Novotny missed his fourth game because of an ankle injury. … The teams will meet again Thursday in Boston, their fourth matchup in 18 days. … Boston C David Krejci made his NHL debut after being recalled earlier in the day from Providence of the AHL. He was knocked out of the game with 5 minutes left in the first period after a hit by Sabres forward Adam Mair. … Bruins D Andrew Alberts was hit in the face by Brian Campbell’s slap shot late in the first and left the ice bloodied. He returned for the second period. … Boston has been outscored 34-9 during its road skid.

AP-ES-01-30-07 2152EST

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