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Bernier scores twice in debut as Sabres win

Jonathan-Cheechoo-Rostislav-Klesla

Columbus' Rostislav Klesia, left, battles San Jose's Jonathan Cheechoo for position in front of the Blue Jackets' goal.

Jay LaPrete / AP Enlarge

BUFFALO - Steve Bernier scored twice and added an assist in his Sabres' debut, pushing Buffalo back into a playoff position with an 8-4 win over the Nashville Predators last night.

Ryan Miller stopped 24 shots to earn his 29th victory despite missing eight minutes of the second period after having his nose bloodied by Marek Zidlicky's shot that hit him on the mask. Bernier scored on his first two shots, giving Buffalo a 2-0 lead, a day after being acquired in a trade that sent All-Star defenseman Brian Campbell to San Jose.

Toni Lydman had a career high four assists, Ales Kotalik had a goal and two assists, and Derek Roy, Daniel Paille, Jason Pominville, Tim Connolly and Andrew Peters also scored.

Jason Arnott scored twice for the Predators, 0-2-1 in their past three games.

Sharks 4, Blue Jackets 2

COLUMBUS - Brian Campbell notched his first point for San Jose and the Sharks scored three goals in an 8-minute span of the second period to beat Columbus.

Jonathan Cheechoo ran his goal streak to four games, Joe Pavelski had a goal and an assist, and Torrey Mitchell and Jeremy Roenick also scored for the Sharks, who won their third in a row and improved to 20-8-3 on the road. Joe Thornton added two assists, and Evgeni Nabokov had 17 saves.

David Vyborny ended a 24-game drought with 2 goals for Columbus.

Wild 3, Lightning 2

TAMPA - Pierre-Marc Bouchard had a goal and an assist to lead Minnesota past Tampa Bay.

Pavol Demitra and Brian Rolston also scored for the Wild, who snapped a four-game losing streak.

Michel Ouellet and Jeff Halpern had the goals for the Lightning, who are last in the Eastern Conference and have lost five straight.

Maple Leafs 4, Panthers 3

SUNRISE, Fla. - Matt Sundin's second goal with 1:08 left in regulation forced overtime, and Toronto went on to a shootout victory over Florida. Tomas Kaberle scored the only goal of the shootout.

RED WINGS/FISCHER: Detroit defenseman Jiri Fischer is preparing to play hockey for the first time since he collapsed during a game more than two years ago.

Fischer will join doctors and paramedics in a charity hockey game at 5 p.m. Saturday at Wendler Arena in Saginaw. Proceeds will raise money for automatic external defibrillators - the device that revived Fischer when his heart stopped beating as he sat on the bench during a November 2005 game against Nashville.

Craig Goslin, president of the Ontario Hockey League's Saginaw Spirit, tells The Saginaw News he expects the event to raise $15,000 to $20,000 for Fischer's Healthy Hope Foundation.

Fischer remains a member of the Red Wings, though he hasn't played in a game since his collapse.

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