'The Sabres (15-24-7-3) weren't in anywhere near as pleasant a mood afterward, as Coach Lindy Ruff ripped his squad for a lackluster effort. Buffalo had posted shutouts in three of its previous four games and had gone 5-0-2-1 in its past eight outings.'
' The Predators came within 16 minutes of getting a shutout last night, but remained the only NHL team not to record one this season when the Sabres' Chris Gratton scored.'
'7: The number of points the Predators (3-0-1) have picked up in their four trips to Buffalo.'
'The league granted another extension last week to Mark Hamister, who leads a group trying to assume control of the Sabres. Hamister is offering $33 million in cash and assumption of $7 million in debt to buy a team that was recently valued by Forbes magazine at $92 million. If McKee and two teammates are not paid money due them, they can file a grievance and seek free agency. "It's not something I want to do right now," McKee said. "Down the road, if it looks like the money isn't going to be given to us, that might be the only option."'
'While rookie goalie Ryan Miller was beaten on three of the first eight shots he faced, he got little help from his defense, which was guilty of both turnovers and standing around in its own zone.'
'"This was our first real bonehead game," coach Lindy Ruff said. "I don't know how long I have to go back. There was no energy. I think this is a real good wakeup call. It's a step back. It was unacceptable and ugly. They didn't hit anybody, they did not get involved or enganged. I think for two periods we didn't win an offensive zone faceoff. It was a poor, poor effort."'
'But Biron also realizes that he has to stay sharp with Miller behind him. Miller himself could be one hot streak away from taking the starting goalie title away from Biron.'
'Gratton has four goals and three assists with a plus-6 rating over his last seven games.'
'Goalie Martin Biron recently broke Dominik Hasek's franchise shutout streak by not allowing a goal for 221 minutes, 58 seconds, but rookie Ryan Miller is expected to get the start tonight.'
'The Ottawa Senators not only found a way to get a puck past resurgent Buffalo Sabres goalie Martin Biron, they also solved the Sabres' penalty-killing unit.'
'Monday's game has been picked up by ESPN2.'
'After a scoreless first period, Alfredsson ended Biron's bid for a fourth consecutive shutout 54 seconds into the second period. Biron's shutout streak ended at 221 minutes 58 seconds. But rather than deflate the Sabres, the goal seemed to inspire them.'
'They have so little and so much in common, the Buffalo Sabres and Ottawa Senators. Fellows of the bankruptcy courts.'
'Perhaps there's something in the water in Rosemère, Quebec, which produces spellbinding goaltending. Just ask Patrick Lalime of the Ottawa Senators, Martin Biron of the Buffalo Sabres or J.S. Giguère of the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. The three goaltenders have joined exclusive company by posting three consecutive shutouts during the past six weeks.'