Hamister straining patience of lawmakers

'"I just think we need to know the facts," she said. "I don't think any citizen likes to hear about something after the fact, and I think that before commitments are made and promises are made, it's my responsibility to inform the Legislature and the public what it's actually going to cost (the public), and what does this really mean."'

Sabres, police spread holiday cheer

'The fifth annual annual gift-giving program is a partnership with the Buffalo Police Department and Rob Ray of the Buffalo Sabres to distribute gifts and food to needy families across the city before Christmas. Tuesday morning, 11 police officers and nine Buffalo Sabres volunteered to go to the homes of 30 families and handed out about $6,000 worth of food and $3,000 in toys, said Jim Goodwin, an employee of a Tops affiliate who organized all the donations.'

County comptroller wants input on Sabres, arena talks

'In her letter to lawmakers Naples said, "The devil is always in the details, and as the county's fiscal watchdog, I must know the details and I must make sure the taxpayers know the details."'

Bettman hints of Buffalo extinction

' In fact, several reports have appeared speculating that rather than move the franchise, Bettman would prefer that it fold. Under that scenario, the thinking goes, Bettman would have a better bargaining position as he tries to work out a new Collective Bargaining Agreement with the NHL Players Association. After all, what better way to demonstrate just how hard times are to the union than eliminating 23 roster spots at an average salary of $1.7 million?'

Hasek's replacements not living up to hype

'It is becoming painfully obvious to fans that Hasek was a superior goalie who continually pulled hockey games out of the fire for the Sabres during his nine season stay in Buffalo.'

Sabres&#8217 ownership up in air

'If Hamister’s bid goes through, the bankruptcy filing may just be a technicality. But if Hamister doesn’t get public money for the Arena and withdraws the bid, it opens the door for an out-of-town investor to sneak in, buy the team and move it. How likely is that? No one knows … and that’s the problem.'

Lemieux caps off Penguins scoring blast

'"This is extremely tough," Gratton said. "We played well for 50 minutes, but when they came back to tie it up, we need to regroup. It's huge when you go from up, 2-1, to down, 3-2, especially on the road. It gets life back in the building. It was something we shouldn't have let happen."'

Orpik now living the dream

'Buffalo center Tim Connolly has one goal in his past 28 games. He has two assists in his past 17 games.'

Penguins rediscover perfect match

'Buffalo's non-existent offense and sloppy defense kept the Penguins in the game, but Pittsburgh did little to take advantage until Kehoe bumped Kovalev up to the top line. The Penguins wasted golden scoring chances, made mind-numbing turnovers, took silly penalties and lost countless crucial faceoffs in the early going.'

Scoring at the drop of puck: a Lemieux first

'Once the puck hit the ice, Lemieux took a wild swipe at the puck, rifling it past Gratton, past two Sabres defensemen and past a motionless Mika Noronen in goal. It was the first time in his illustrious career that Lemieux scored off the draw.'

Penguins win second straight game since ending streak

'The Penguins had been on a 0-10-1-2 streak in home games they trailed after two periods.'

Beech is at home for the holidays

'The game drew 16,569 fans, even though Buffalo is not an especially attractive opponent and the Steelers were playing at Tampa Bay. The Penguins even added a promotion to help ticket sales, which is why Patrick said he was gratified but not worried about Monday's attendance. "Not with Marty Straka Bobblehead Night," Patrick said with a smile.'

Mario records one goal, three assists in 6:02 span of third period to lead comeback

'From 11:09, when he set up Alexei Kovalev for the tying goal, until 17:11, when he fed Martin Straka for a final bit of insurance, Lemieux molded the outcome the way no single player should be able to.'

Lemieux a bet to convert some magic

'Linesman Derek Amell dropped the puck, and Lemieux whacked it forward just as it hit the ice. It zipped between Gratton's legs, nicked off the skate of defenseman Alexei Zhitnik and bounced between the legs of goaltender Mika Noronen.'

Penguins Report

'"We don't have Dominik anymore, so that's probably the biggest reason," Satan said. "Other than that, most of the team is the same. For some reason, it's not the same, though. I don't know why. For all of us, this situation is hard. It's a lesson for us. That's how I'm taking it. I'm just trying to keep my head up and work hard."'