Biron earns 13th shutout of four-year career


PHOENIX (AP) -- Curtis Brown turned the rough ice at the America
West Arena to the Buffalo Sabres' advantage.

Brown scored a short-handed goal early in the third period as
the Sabres improved on their second-half surge with a 1-0 victory
over the slumping Phoenix Coyotes.

"The ice was real bad out there tonight, and (the puck) was
bouncing quite a bit," he said. "I don't know exactly what
happened, but maybe it was bouncing a little bit, and I was able to
sweep in there and grab it."

Martin Biron had 30 saves for his second shutout of the season
and 13th of his four-year career.

Hard-luck rookie Zac Bierk stopped 22 shots for Phoenix, 0-4-1-1
since a season-high, four-game winning streak ended.

Bierk has 143 saves on 149 shots in five games, including four
starts, but hasn't had much scoring support. And he couldn't handle
Brown's hard shot over the goalie's left shoulder after a pirouette
in the slot 3:17 in.

The play began as a 3-on-2 rush out of the neutral zone.

Miroslav Satan carried the puck into the Coyotes' end. Shane
Doan knocked him off the puck above the left circle, but the puck
slid across to Brown.

Biron, who had five shutouts during his 1999-2000 rookie season,
made 11 saves in the third period, eight after Brown's goal on the
first of three Phoenix power plays in the period. That allowed the
Sabres to earn 14 of their 36 points in nine games (6-1-1-1).

"If you look at our penalty kill, it has been solid for a long
time now," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. "I think in the last 15
games we have only given up a power-play goal in two of them, so
that is a recipe for success."

The Coyotes were awful on special teams -- 0-for-6 on Saturday
made them 1-for-34 in their last eight _ and they gave up their
fourth short-handed goal in two games. St. Louis had three in the
third period, including two empty-netters, in a 4-1 win Tuesday.

"We need to find ways to score, and we are not," Coyotes
center Shane Doan said. "It's got to be hard for Zac. He's played
so well for us in four or five games, and we have done nothing for

In the final 57 seconds, the Coyotes had a 6-on-4 skating
advantage for 34 seconds after Taylor Pyatt hooked Daniel Briere
rushing toward the Buffalo net. But Phoenix's Ramzi Abid negated
the two-man advantage by taking a goaltender-interference penalty
with 23 seconds to go.

The Coyotes weren't able to put a shot on net. Briere was just
wide in the final seconds.

"You score five goals in six games, it's going to be difficult
to win hockey games,'" Phoenix coach Bob Francis said.

Game notes
The crowd of 15,896 was a season-high in Phoenix. ... The
game matched two of the three teams that had no players picked for
the All-Star Game. ... Phoenix RW Tony Amonte missed his third game
with bruised ribs. But D Deron Quint, who sat out two because of a
groin strain, played. ... The Sabres are 4-0-1 since Jan. 10, the
day they filed some bankruptcy documents, and 2-0-1 since
completing the procedure. ... Buffalo D Rhett Warrener missed his
fourth straight game with a bruised foot. ... LW Scott Pellerin,
acquired Thursday from Dallas for Claude Lemieux, played his first
game for Phoenix. ... Satan's assist extended his scoring streak to
six games.