'The only sports issue more difficult than determining the extent of an injury during the NHL playoffs probably is figuring out the correct formula for a quarterback's rating in the NFL.'
'"If you go home and expect to win by taking it easy, we're going to come back here, 2-2," Bergevin said. "We have to go home with the intention of winning one game: Game 3. That's all that matters."'
'Recent history tells us the Penguins, despite what appears to be a commanding lead — especially because it was built on the road — have plenty to worry about. They have been in this position before and remember it well.'
'He was beaten twice on 14 shots in the Buffalo Sabres' 3-1 loss to the Penguins in Game 2 of their Stanley Cup playoff series yesterday at HSBC Arena. And, most frustrating, both pucks which eluded him — the third goal went into an empty net — were off target.'
'And did Kovalev raise his elbow, as the Sabres charged? "Not at all. I just turned sideways and hit him with my shoulder."'
'So much for the Sabres' game plan.'
'"I watched two replays; it's elbow-on-chin in my determination," Ruff said of the Kovalev-Zhitnik collision. "That will be dealt with."'
'"That's just the way playoffs go," said a delighted Ference. "I've had almost 10 good shots that have been right on net. And then you get the lucky ones that go in off people's backs."'
'The Sabres are not capable of putting a scare into the Penguins, even if, as Lemieux predicts, they come out Monday night in Game 3 at the Mellon Arena and "play desperate." They already look desperate.'
'No wonder the only mystery left in this series involves how long it will take the Penguins to fill that hole with dirt.'
'Sometime this morning, a truck carrying 18,000 yellow foam antlers is expected to pull up to a loading dock at Mellon Arena.'
'Perhaps a bigger blow is that the Sabres also lost defenceman Alexei Zhitnik, a major part of the team's power play and penalty-killing unit. Zhitnik received a concussion when he was rocked by Alexei Kovalev.'
'Whenever he discusses his success here at the edge of Lake Erie, the 43-year-old Regier often mentions the name Dominik Hasek. Had it not been for Hasek's brilliant netminding in recent years, Regier points out, the franchise's recent history – including a trip to the Cup finals two years ago – could read much differently.'
'Tomorrow night, in an old funky domed arena in Pittsburgh, Johan Hedberg officially will be elevated to cult status.'
'With Jagr out with a charley horse he sustained in Game 1, Lemieux was fierce and unyielding in a ferocious 3-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres, giving the Penguins a sweep at the HSBC Arena and sending them home with a formidable 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal.'