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Associated Press
12/14/2006 9:50:30 PM


BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - Maxim Afinogenov scored a power-play goal early in the third period to lead the Buffalo Sabres to a 2-1 victory over the Florida Panthers on Thursday night.

Afinogenov, who also had an assist, scored during a 5-on-3 advantage. He took a pass across the front of the goal from Chris Drury and gave Buffalo a 2-1 lead 1:19 into the final period.

Thomas Vanek also scored while Ryan Miller made 32 saves for the Sabres, who won their third straight.

Jozef Stumpel scored for Florida, which has dropped four in a row. Ed Belfour stopped 14 shots.

Afinogenov's goal snapped a power-play slump for the Sabres. Entering the game, Buffalo had converted just three of 43 chances. The Sabres failed on their first five chances before Afinogenov scored.

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