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Benoit Pouliot starting to find his game with the Buffalo Sabres

It was, without question, his best game of the season.

On Saturday in Boston, Benoit Pouliot had five shots on goal, scored his first of the season, was a plus-two and skated 15 minutes, 42 seconds.

It was finally a bit of a breakthrough for the 31-year-old left winger in his first season with the Buffalo Sabres.

"I skated a little bit more. I think my legs felt better," Pouliot said about that overtime win against the Bruins. "We turned a lot of pucks over. We got in their zone deep and that's the style of play we want to play and it fits right into my game."

And those five shots?

"Yeah, that's good," Pouliot said. "Because personally, for me, I need to shoot the puck more and I did last game. It doesn't matter where the shot comes from. I think we get chances off of them so it went well. My linemates were great. It made my game a lot easier and hopefully things keep going that way."

His linemates in that game were Ryan O'Reilly and Jason Pominville.

Tuesday morning, before the team played the Detroit Red Wings in KeyBank Center, Pouliot was skating at center between Jordan Nolan and Justin Bailey. But it didn't sound like the career winger was going to morph into the Sabres' fourth-line center.

"It was just part of practice," Pouliot said, who noted that he's played a handful of games at center in his career.

A veteran of 560 NHL games, he spent the last three seasons in Edmonton and signed with the Sabres as an unrestricted free agent over the summer. Coming into the Sabres organization, Pouliot was ready to play anywhere in the lineup. And he's pretty much played up and down the lines as the Sabres look for the right combination to create offense.

"Wherever they put me in the lineup I'll do whatever it takes. Do my job," Pouliot said. "If it's third, fourth, for first, it doesn't matter to me. As long as I come to work and do what I’m supposed to do."

Coming to work means a variety of things for Pouliot, primarily using his skating strength.

"I feel pretty good right now it's just a matter of getting the bounces going your way and working hard and using my legs," Pouliot said. "My speed is my game and that's something I've got to bring every day."

Along with speed, Sabres coach Phil Housley sees preparation before the game, and a willingness to be focused the entire game, as a key to Pouliot, and the team's, success.

"I think it's just preparation, focus, determination," Housley said. "It sounds simple, but in this game, there's such a fine line. The parity in this league is so tight right now. Anybody can beat anybody. The teams that really come to work and are determined seem to get the results. That's 60 minutes. That's not one period or two periods. You have to do it for 60 minutes."

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