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SKINNY BIRON WEIGHS IN WITH DEFINITIVE NUMBER

Martin Biron might be worth his weight in gold. He might even be worth his weight in platinum.

It all depends on how many pounds we're talking. And until the lanky Buffalo Sabres' goaltender was finally asked Monday, nobody really knew.

The most common measurements in circulation have Biron at 6-foot-1, 154 pounds.

That, according to the NHL, makes him the lightest player in the league at any position -- lighter than 5-6 Rangers forward Theoren Fleury, lighter than Capitals tycoon Jaromir Jagr's wallet, lighter than Stars coach Ken Hitchcock's right thigh.

But the Sabres' official Web site lists Biron at 6-feet, 190 pounds.

The team's 2000-01 media guide has him at 6-3, 163 pounds, although every other Sabres media guide, including this year's, adheres to the 6-1, 154 framework. And this season's NHL guide has him at 6-2, 163.

Because of the confusion, the Sabres released an end-all, be-all figure during the preseason of 6-2, 168 pounds.

Biron, however, was ecstatic when a reporter asked him to clarify the issue. Biron apparently was tired of seeing so many varying accounts.

"I'm 6-2, 165," he said before sarcastically curling his arms like a muscle man. "Pound-for-pound I'm the toughest guy in hockey."

Biron recalled being 6-1, 154 when he first joined the Sabres as an 18-year-old in 1995. It's common for players to go through their entire careers with their rookie heights and weights.

"But I weigh 205 with my equipment on," Biron said.
The Sabres are happy the San Jose Sharks will be playing their fifth road game in eight nights when they visit HSBC Arena tonight at 8. The Sharks still have one more road tilt -- Thursday in Chicago -- before they can go home.

The Sharks defeated the New York Rangers, 5-1, Monday night at Madison Square Garden, making the Sharks 1-1-2-0 so far on their sojourn.

"I think there's opportunities during the year where teams are playing back-to-back and they come into your building having played the night before," Ruff said. "The end of the trip always seems to be the toughest. It should be a good opportunity for us."

The Sabres may not have Richard Smehlik available for tonight's game. He's questionable with a groin injury.

BUFFALO SABRES
Who's hot: LW Slava Kozlov has four goals in his last four games.
Record last 5: 2-2-1
Power play: 6-51 (11.8%)
Penalty killing: 5-39 (87.2%)
Injuries: Richard Smehlik (groin).
Fast fact: D Rhett Warrener has amassed a team-leading 23 penalty minutes.

SAN JOSE SHARKS
Who's hot: C Vincent Damphousse has six goals and one assist in past five games.
Record last 5: 2-1-2
Power play: 7-50 (14.0%)
Penalty killing: 3-41 (92.7%)
Injuries: None.
Fast fact: Former RW Tony Granato retired when he joined the Sharks' radio broadcasting crew on Friday.
e-mail: tgraham@buffnews.com

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