Buffalo Sabres 2001 preview

'WHO'S THE GLUE? Martin Biron. If he can hold the fort, all will be well in Buffalo. If he can't, look for the Sabres to completely come unglued.'

Fans enjoy carnival atmosphere with Sabres

'…the carnival did have a predetermined purpose: to raise money for the United Cerebral Palsy Association of Western New York, the Buffalo Museum of Science's Camp Wee Explorer and the St. Catharines Minor Hockey Association.'

Essensa adds experience to Sabres' mix of goalies

'With Martin Biron and Mika Noronen both ticketed for future stardom and 1999 draft pick Ryan Miller rewriting the collegiate record book, there simply is no need for incoming veteran competition for the starter's role in the crease. But what the Sabres do need is something Essensa can be: a wise backup to win an occasional start and help the Sabres mine their precious commodities.'

Sabres restrict big-game tickets to 'loyal' fans

'Until further notice, tickets to the two games against Toronto in HSBC Arena, Dominik Hasek's lone appearance in Buffalo and a Jan. 10 contest against Mario Lemieux's Pittsburgh Penguins are off limits unless you're a loyal follower, as defined by your financial commitment to the Sabres. The Sabres are giving fans who purchased season tickets or 10-game packages first dibs on buying more to those four games. They say it's a way of rewarding the faithful.'

Loss to Sabres full of funky stuff

'The Columbus Blue Jackets got two goals from a non-threat and their goaltender set up the opposing team for the second time in three games. Yes, it was another funky preseason outing. The Jackets allowed three power-play goals and lost 4-3 to the Buffalo Sabres last night in HSBC Arena.'

Sabres 4, Blue Jackets 3

'Slava Kozlov scored a power-play goal with 4:58 remaining, lifting the Buffalo Sabres to a 4-3 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets in an NHL preseason game Saturday night. Norm Milley, Jason Woolley, and Denis Hamel also scored for Buffalo (1-1), which was 3-for-5 on the power play.'

Buffalo 4, Columbus 3

'Vyacheslav Kozlov's power-play goal with 4:58 remaining gave the Buffalo Sabres a 4-3 exhibition victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets.'

For Sabres, now you 'C' it, now you don't

'Defenseman Alexei Zhitnik wore the "C" for the Sabres' 1-0 loss to the Ottawa Senators in the preseason opener at HSBC Arena, a surprise move to some of the 16,558 spoken-for seats. It is uncertain who will wear the "C" for tonight's home game against the Columbus Blue Jackets at 6 because Sabres coach Lindy Ruff insisted he will move the letter around the roster before settling on someone. That's if he settles at all.'

Biron happy with his effort

'"I felt good, getting the puck in the pads, in the glove, in the chest," Biron said. "A few of the rebounds were really close in front of me so I could freeze them. "I'm going to go home and put that away and feel good when I come back (to practice this) morning."'

Sabres send 14 players to Amerks

'When the Sabres made their first wave of cuts yesterday, Fitzpatrick remained with the NHL team while fellow veteran defensemen Mike Hurlbut, Doug Houda and Mario Larocque were sent to the Amerks…Also re-assigned were goalies Tom Askey and Ray Bourcier, defensemen Doug Janik and Luc Theoret, left wingers Karel Mosovski and Andrew Peters and right wingers Milan Bartovic, Alan Fyfe, Ales Kotalik and Jaroslav Kristek.'

Shuttling off to Buffalo

'Round-trip bus service will be offered to six Buffalo Sabres games this hockey season. The Rochester-Genesee Regional Transportation Au-thority, which provides bus service for the Rochester area, made the announcement yesterday.'

Lalime shows playoff form

'While the Senators struggled to get through the Sabres' tight-checking style, Lalime stood strong by kicking aside 30 shots — including 14 in the second period — as Ottawa skated to a 1-0 shutout win over Buffalo.'

Senators 1, Sabres 0

'Sabres spokesman Michael Gilbert said the team has handed out close to 10,000 free tickets for its two preseason home games to area firefighters, police officers and emergency medical workers. Midway through the first period, the crowd – prompted by a tribute on the scoreboard – gave a two-minute standing ovation in honor of all emergency workers.'

Ottawa 1, Buffalo 0

'Patrick Lalime was in midseason form, recording 30 saves as the Ottawa Senators spoiled the Buffalo Sabres' preseason opener with a 1-0 blanking.'

McKee's mind-set

'The Buffalo Sabres' stalwart defenseman will return to the ice tonight for his first game since his wicked head-to-head crash five months ago with Pittsburgh Penguins star Mario Lemieux during last season's playoffs. McKee, who sustained a Grade III concussion, claimed he will approach the 7 p.m. preseason opener against the Ottawa Senators in HSBC Arena (Empire, Radio 107.7 FM) with the same vigor he has used his entire career – and the same passion that recently got him added to the Canadian Olympic hockey camp roster.'