Share this article

print logo

BIRON'S DEMOTION MERELY A CHANCE TO PLAY

Martin Biron's last two outings were disappointing.

So on Friday he was sent down to the minors.

But the Sabres' backup goaltender wasn't gone for long. His sojourn down the Thruway lasted only the night, and he will be on the bench and available for tonight's game against the New Jersey Devils at HSBC Arena.

After a Thursday morning talk with coach Lindy Ruff, Biron accepted the one-game tuneup. He started for the Amerks and stopped 24 of 26 shots in a 3-2 win over St. John's at Blue Cross Arena.

"In the stretch run coming up they're going to need me, and my last two games weren't great," Biron said before driving to Rochester. "I need to get comfortable. Just go out and relax, play the game and turn it around and bring that back to a game here."

Tuesday against the Atlanta Thrashers, he allowed five goals on 36 shots. In his previous game Feb. 1 against Tampa Bay, he gave up four goals on 19 shots.

"It's a chance after his last two starts, where he hasn't been that sharp, that he can build a little confidence and bring it back to us," Ruff said.

"He was rock-solid in the games he played previous to the Tampa Bay game and in Atlanta. There's some habits he's gotten into that have hurt him."

The worst habit Biron fell into, particularly against Nashville, was hanging deep in the crease rather than challenging shooters.

"The most important thing is to be on the top of my crease all the time," Biron said. "I was backing up a little more that game."

Left wing Dave Andreychuk and center Doug Gilmour missed Friday's workout at the Amherst Pepsi Center, while right wing J.P. Dumont skated on his own.

Andreychuk was scheduled to undergo an MRI to evaluate the extent of a knee injury.

"It was bothering him," Ruff said of Andreychuk's knee in Thursday night's 3-1 victory over Atlanta. "There's a lot more swelling (Friday). Obviously, it doesn't look good (that he'll play tonight)."

Gilmour, who has been playing well of late after getting off to a crawl, was out with the flu and is questionable for tonight.

"Hopefully this virus doesn't set him back," Ruff said. "He's had a lot more jump. He's really starting to feel good skating. He's made a lot of nice plays, he hit a crossbar (Thursday) night on a breakaway. The chances are coming."

Dumont also is questionable with a strained rib muscle.

There are no comments - be the first to comment