It was Future Sabres night in Buffalo. The Young Guns of Buffalo came out in full force and displayed their wares. Taylor Pyatt, Tim Connolly, Maxim Afinogenov and Norm Milley all played key roles in the Sabres 4-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning.
'"We took advantage of a team that was young and has had a tough time this year," Sabres defenseman Jay McKee said. "They just seemed like a team that didn't have it going."'
'After being called up from Rochester to fill in for Erik Rasmussen – who injured his shoulder during Wednesday night's 5-2 loss to the St. Louis Blues – Milley had a solid, if unspectacular, night on the ice.'
'Taylor Pyatt, who had one goal in 16 games before Friday, scored twice as Buffalo beat Tampa Bay 4-1 in front of an announced crowd of 18,690 at the HSBC Arena.'
'While no specific trade partners have surfaced, the Toronto Maple Leafs have sent numerous scouts to the Ice Palace recently, including three Jan. 12. Two more showed up Monday.'
'Tampa Bay was never a factor in a dreadful 4-1 loss to the Sabres at HSBC Arena, and it left some players wondering what is going through the team's collective mind.'
'Tampa Bay left wing Dave Andreychuk played his 1,411th game and passed Norm Ullman for 13th all-time.'
'Buffalo moves within four points of eighth place in the Eastern Conference, but is still sitting in 12th place.'
'Buffalo controlled the game, outshooting the Lightning, 33-22.'
'Smehlik ranks 759th among 801 NHL skaters in plus-minus.'
'"It should be hard for other teams to overcome that. It seems we lack the killer instinct."'
'G Nikolai Khabibulin has been pulled from two of his past three starts.'
'Sabres G Bob Essensa is 6-0 with 2.25 goals against in six career games against the Lightning.'
There are a lot of things wrong with this team. At times they lack maturity on the ice. They make the wrong decisions. Buffalo has also been very inconsistent throughout the season. At times the Sabres lack the gritty, tough players that win the battles in the corners, as well as in front of the net.
'The Buffalo Sabres gave a clinic Wednesday night on how to become the 12th team out of 15 in the Eastern Conference.'