Drury adds to reputation as NHL's 'Mr. May'

DON BRENNAN -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 11:08 AM ET

He has won the Calder Trophy, the Hobey Baker Award and, as a 12-year-old pitcher from Trumbull, Conn., the Little League World Series, beating Taiwan 5-2.

Chris Drury now also has four NHL playoff overtime winners to his credit.

"It's well documented, he's been a winner in a lot of situations throughout his career, his life, hockey and baseball," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said of his captain yesterday. "He's very good at taking advantage of a situation. Maybe another player would have missed that opportunity. He didn't."

No, Drury's shot 18 seconds into overtime Friday was right on the mark, giving Buffalo a 7-6 victory and a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series with the Senators.

It further enhanced his reputation as Mr. May, as he has also scored three playoff OT winners with the Colorado Avalanche: May 20, 2002 vs. Detroit; May 3, 2000 vs. Detroit; and May 29, 1999 vs. Dallas.

"Each one has been pretty special," Drury said yesterday when asked which of his sudden-death goals has been biggest. "(Friday's) probably, because the most recent always seems the biggest. The others seem like a lifetime ago."

POISED FOR SURPRISE

The Sabres, who also won Game 1 of their first-round series against the Flyers in OT, can surprise a lot of prognosticators by taking a 2-0 series lead tomorrow night.

"We're certainly happy with the result, getting a win on the road," Drury said. "We know they can play a lot better, and we certainly know we can play better."

ROY ON A ROLL: After going scoreless in the Sabres' first five playoff games, Rockland native Derek Roy has eight points in the team's last two games. His five-point performance against the Senators equaled a club record set by John Tucker in 1988. "Derek came to camp this year in the best shape of his career," Ruff said. "He didn't have a great camp, but in (AHL) Rochester he made a huge statement by the way he played, and the first injury we had we called him back up. He's been a workaholic for us. He plays in every situation, he's a creative, antagonizing player who is relentless on the puck. He gained a lot of confidence in Game 6 against Philly, he piled up the points and he was around the puck a lot. He's worked for what he's got."

BUFFALO CHIPS: With two days off, the Sabres elected to return home after Friday's game. "I don't know if it benefits you," Ruff said in the Buffalo News, "but it's easy to do and I think it wouldn't be a good idea to sit here for two days in their atmosphere. I like Canada, but I like Buffalo better." ... The Sabres are hopeful of getting Jochen Hecht back from an "upper-body" injury tomorrow.

DON.BRENNAN@OTT.SUNPUB.COM


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