Shootout goal gives Thrashers 4-3 win

BUFFALO, N.Y. - Brett Sterling scored the deciding goal in a shootout hours after he was called up from the minors, lifting the Atlanta Thrashers to a 4-3 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday night.

Todd White forced overtime for Atlanta, scoring with 3.5 seconds remaining in regulation. He swatted in a rebound after Buffalo goalie Patrick Lalime could not control Ron Hainsey's slap shot from the high slot.

Slava Kozlov and Marty Reasoner also scored for Atlanta, which matched a season-best with its fifth straight win.

Buffalo, despite losing three of its last four games, still moved within two points of the eighth and final Eastern Conference playoff spot.

Derek Roy had a goal and an assist in a 3:12 span in the second period for the Sabres. Daniel Paille and Maxim Afinogenov also scored for the Sabres, and Patrick Lalime made 29 saves.

Kari Lehtonen stopped 34 shots for Atlanta, who played without star left wing Ilya Kovalychuk because of an upper-body injury. He was hurt Thursday night in a 4-3 overtime win at Edmonton.

Lalime, making his ninth straight start, is now 3-4-2 since taking over for injured starter Ryan Miller.

Atlanta's other five-game winning streak this season was done between Nov. 2-14.