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NHL: Buffalo 4, Florida 2

BUFFALO, N.Y., March 25 (UPI) -- Two goals by Drew Stafford Friday boosted Buffalo to a 4-2 win over Florida that gave a boost to the Sabres' playoff hopes.

Buffalo came into the night in eighth place in the Eastern Conference. Although the Sabres were still in that position when the night ended they had moved within two points of the seventh-place New York Rangers.

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Buffalo's advantage over ninth-place Carolina remained at three points when the Hurricanes defeated Tampa Bay.

Stafford's first goal gave Buffalo the lead for good 2:33 into the second period and he put the Sabres in front 4-1 midway through the third.

Jason Pominville and Jordan Leopold also scored for Buffalo, which has won two in a row and three out of four.

Ryan Miller got the win with 22 saves.

Tomas Vokoun stopped 28 shots for the Panthers.

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