It didn't take too long for the Buffalo Sabres to revert to their old dormant ways. After two outstanding games against Toronto and Calgary, the Sabres came up lame against the Pittsburgh Penguins, losing 3-1 to a team that is certainly not an NHL powerhouse this year.
'"I should have had two goals tonight, really," Beech said. "I had a chance in the second period, too and I missed a wide-open net. On the one I scored, I was thinking, 'Please, just put it in the net.'"'
'Whatever rest Lemieux got last night looked like it might be awfully fitful after Alexei Zhitnik gave the Sabres a 1-0 lead with a five-on-three power play goal at 4:52 of the first period. The Penguins, after all, were averaging just two goals per game, and Buffalo can be awfully stingy. But the Penguins finished the period with a 16-9 edge in shots and adjourned to the locker room reasonably confident in their chances of winning.'
'"The bottom line is, you're getting paid to produce," Ruff said. "You're not getting paid to produce chances, you're getting paid to produce goals. That accountability has to lay on the shoulders of the guys I've mentioned. Curtis plays against top lines, but he's been here throughout my tenure. I expect him to produce. Gratton is another guy. He's been involved in the power play since Day 1. If you're going to be involved in the power play, you have to put some numbers up."'
'Coming off losses to Vancouver and Nashville in which they were outscored 9-1, the Penguins played with high energy from the start.'
'"I'm not going to defend (Kozlov's) lack of production. He's got a little bit of Tim's (Connolly) disease. He over-stickhandles. I don't know the last time you looked at a scoresheet and saw Slava had four or five shots. He's looking to dish. That mentality has to change."'
'"That was probably the biggest thing I was screaming," he said. "We didn't have a shot on goal for almost 10 minutes. You can't execute if you don't shoot the puck. Nobody wanted to shoot it."'
'Playing their third game in four nights, the Sabres fell to 1-9-3-0 in 13 trips to Pittsburgh since March 23, 1996.'
Who turned the Juice on? No, we aren't talking about O.J. Simpson here. The Buffalo Sabres suddenly discovered they could score on the powerplay against the hot Calgary Flames Friday night in HSBC Arena as they turned on the electricity against the Flames, beating them 5-2.
'RW Miroslav Satan is a plus-12 at home but is a minus-2 on the road.'
'[Penguins] Are 15-2-4 at home vs. Buffalo in past 10 years…[Sabres] have 2-6-0-1 road record that is among NHL's worst.'
'Leading scorer: LW Miroslav Satan (nine goals, eight assists, 17 points).'
'Turning Point: The Sabres managed only two shots in the first seven minutes of the second period, but cashed in on both, smashing open the scoreless contest.'
'"We didn't take the body," said Conroy. "We let them skate around. We let them do what they wanted. That's not us. We just floated around and let them do their thing. They don't have a huge team, and we didn't hit them. Our big thing is, we don't lose two in a row."'
'The Buffalo Sabres, who had lost nine of 12 games earlier this month, turned in a complete team effort for the second straight game with a 5-2 victory over the Flames on Friday night in HSBC Arena.'