ATLANTA – Dustin Byfuglien had a good feeling when he found the puck on his stick in overtime.
“I knew I was going to shoot for sure,” Byfuglien said. “I just didn’t know where. I had the ice. I took it. I made a couple of moves, and it ended up in the net.”
Byfuglien split two defenders and beat Ryan Miller with a wrist shot at 4:31 of overtime to give the Atlanta Thrashers a 4-3 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Friday night.
“It was a nice shot. (Byfuglien) has lots of speed,” Miller said. “I didn’t see how he wanted to set it up. He just let the puck go. He had a long time to make a decision.”
Buffalo tied it with eight seconds left in regulation when Derek Roy tipped Jordan Leopold’s shot past Chris Mason with Miller off for an extra attacker. It was Roy’s sixth goal.
Niclas Bergfors put Atlanta ahead 3-2 early in the third period on a 5-on-3 power play after Atlanta had overcome a 2-0 first-period deficit. He also had a goal and an assist Wednesday night in the Thrashers’ victory over the New York Rangers. Alexander Burmistrov scored his first NHL goal, and Nik Antropov also tallied for Atlanta.
“When you have a 5-on-3, you can expect that,” Miller said. “(Bergfors) got a back-door play. I made a critical error trying to get the puck set up.”
Tim Connolly and Leopold had first-period goals for Buffalo.
“We got ourselves back in it. It was just a matter of us staying with our composure,” Byfuglien said.
Antropov scored Atlanta’s first goal and his first of the season on a power play with two Buffalo players in the penalty box in the second. Antropov, who scored 24 goals last season, beat Miller from in close at 9:53 from Byfuglien and Toby Enstrom.
The 19-year-old Burmistrov, Atlanta’s No. 1 draft pick and the eighth choice overall this year, scored at 13:33. Burmistrov got his first career assist against the Rangers on Wednesday night.
“It was amazing, unbelievable,” Burmistrov said. “I was just trying to play my game.”
Connolly scored his fourth goal from in close, converting a nice pass from Cody McCormick at 4:51 of the first before Leopold added his own at 11:12.
Atlanta thought they had tied it at 1-1 with 8:48 left in the opening period on a goal by Chris Thorburn but officials waved it off, calling a boarding penalty on Antropov just prior to the puck going in.
The Sabres had a two-man advantage for 1:18 early in the second period, but failed to capitalize. Buffalo had only four shots in the period.
NOTES: Atlanta C Bryan Little left the game with facial lacerations in the first period and did not return. … Atlanta G Ondrej Pavelec, recalled from Chicago of the AHL on Thursday, was the backup to Mason and will start Saturday night against St. Louis. Pavelec started the season opener against Washington, fainted and sustained a concussion 2:25 into the game. He hasn’t played since. … Atlanta D Zach Bogosian returned after missing six games because of a sore shoulder. … Buffalo D Shaone Morrison, who missed five games with a back injury, was back in action. … Buffalo beat the Thrashers in Atlanta 4-1 on Oct. 20.