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NHL: Buffalo 7, Tampa Bay 1

BUFFALO, N.Y., March 27 (UPI) -- Derek Roy registered a hat trick Saturday as the Buffalo Sabres blew out Tampa Bay 7-1 to clinch a playoff spot.

The win, Buffalo's fifth in six games, moved the Sabres to within a point of second-seeded Pittsburgh in the Eastern Conference standings.

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Roy's hat trick was the fourth in his career. Jason Pominville added a goal and two assists while Adam Mair, Paul Gaustad and Jochen Hecht also tallied for Buffalo in the rout.

Patrick Lalime turned aside 21 of 22 shots in nets for the Sabres, who gave No. 1 goalie Ryan Miller the night off.

The Lightning got their only goal from Steve Downie as they fell for the sixth time in eight games. Tampa Bay pulled Antero Niittymaki after he allowed three goals on six shots.

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