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10/14/2006 10:48:20 PM

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - Chris Drury wasn't worried that he had never had a hat trick in his career. Still, it was nice to finally accomplish the feat.

Drury had his first three-goal game and added an assist to help the Buffalo Sabres win their fifth consecutive game, 7-4 over the New York Rangers on Saturday night.

"It's not something I've been sitting up and thinking about. It's just one of those things that you never know," said Drury, who was playing his 556th NHL game. "I'm certainly glad it came in a win, and a comeback win in our building."

Buffalo, which reached the Eastern Conference final last season, is off to its best start since winning its first eight games in the 1975-76 season.

It was the third time this season that Buffalo has come back from a two-goal deficit to win, and the second consecutive game the Sabres started down 2-0. The Sabres came from behind Friday night against Detroit to beat the Red Wings 3-2 in a shootout.

"Well, eventually we're going to have to learn to score a little earlier," said Sabres goalie Ryan Miller, who won for the fourth time by making 19 saves. "But we've been doing fine. We feel like we can score at any time, so we're not going to let a goal or two dictate the way we're going to play."

Daniel Briere had a goal and two assists while Ales Kotalik, Maxim Afinogenov, and Jochen Hecht also scored. Overall, 10 players recorded a point for the Sabres, who erased New York's 2-0 first-period lead in lightning-quick fashion.

The Sabres began their offensive onslaught when Kotalik scored his first goal of the season with five minutes left in the first. Drury and Briere then scored 1:16 apart late in the period to give Buffalo a 3-2 lead.

The Sabres were outshot by an 11-1 margin in the first 15 minutes before outshooting the Rangers by a 10-1 edge over the final five minutes of the period.

Afinogenov and Hecht each scored to start the second to give Buffalo a 5-2 advantage before New York's Brendan Shanahan scored his sixth goal, and second of the game, to cut the lead to 5-3.

Drury followed with two goals 1:04 apart to give Buffalo a 7-3 lead after two periods. His third goal, and sixth of the season, came on the power play when he outmuscled New York defenceman Aaron Ward to a loose puck in the crease, sliding it past Rangers goalie Kevin Weekes.

"It was laying around in the crease and I was able to get a whack at it as I was falling down," Drury said.

Weekes was making his first start for the Rangers.

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