Buffalo head coach Lindy Ruff achieved his 300th career win Wednesday as the Sabres beat the Ottawa Senators 5-4 in National League Hockey play.
Daniel Briere scored twice for Buffalo, while teammates Maxim Afinogenov, Derek Roy and Rory Fitzpatrick also found the net. Afinogenov also had three assists. Ruff became the 31st N.H.L. coach to win 300 games.
In other N.H.L. games, the Atlanta Thrashers downed the Florida Panthers 5-2. Kari Lehtonen made 39 saves for Atlanta, who moved to within five points of Tampa Bay for eighth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
The Toronto Maple Leafs also closed in on Tampa Bay with a 3-2 win over the New York Islanders. The Maple Leafs have moved within six points of the Lightning, who were idle Wednesday.Patrik Elias scored three goals to lead the New Jersey Devils past the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-4. It was Elias's seventh-career hat trick. The victory marks the ninth consecutive season New Jersey has won at least 40 games.
The San Jose Sharks defeated the Colorado Avalanche 2-1 to move into a tie with the Vancouver Canucks for eighth-place in the Western Conference.
Meanwhile, the Calgary Flames beat the Phoenix Coyotes 5-2...the Chicago Blackhawks downed the Nashville Predators 4-3...and the Carolina Hurricanes defeated the Washington Capitals 4-3 in a shootout.