BUFFALO, N.Y. – Kari Lehtonen and the upstart Atlanta Thrashers put an end to the Buffalo Sabres’ bid for an NHL record start.

Barely.

Lehtonen denied all three Sabres shootout attempts and stopped 32 shots overall in a 5-4 win Saturday night, ending Buffalo’s season-opening winning streak at 10. The Sabres will settle for sharing the league record for best start to a season set by Toronto in 1993.

Former Sabres player, Vyachelsav Kozlov, scored the only shootout goal the Thrashers needed, beating Ryan Miller with a snap shot inside the left post.

The loss – the Sabres’ first in the regular season since a 4-2 defeat to Philadelphia on April 7 – also ended their 15-game winning streak over two seasons, two short of the NHL record set by Pittsburgh in 1993.

It wasn’t for a lack of trying. Buffalo rallied four times from one-goal deficits, with Jochen Hecht tying the game with 1:44 left in regulation.

AP-ES-10-28-06 2156EDT


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