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NHL: Buffalo 8, Atlanta 2

BUFFALO, N.Y., March 19 (UPI) -- Rob Niedermeyer scored twice and Mark Mancari added a goal and two assists Saturday in the Buffalo Sabres' 8-2 rout of Atlanta.

Tim Connolly, Jason Pominville and Nathan Gerbe each registered a goal and an assist, helping the Sabres to a crucial win that gave them 78 points and sole possession of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

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Brad Boyes and Tyler Ennis provided goals and Ryan Miller posted 28 saves for Buffalo.

The Thrashers, meanwhile, fell six points behind the Sabres in the standings.

Chris Thorburn and Alexander Burmistrov scored and goalie Ondrej Pavelec was yanked after yielding three tallies on 11 shots in the first period.

Chris Mason came in and turned aside just 12-of-17 shots the rest of the way.

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