'Turning point: While Biron's goal late in the first period gave the Panthers a 2-0 lead, consider any and all of Luongo's huge third-period saves as the difference because he continually saved the game as his tired teammates sat back and were under attack.'
'Asked if he'd talked to his brother about the play yet, Mathieu Biron, 23, said, "No, but I will. If I don't see him, I'll be sure to call him."'
'Dudley, who played and coached at Buffalo, worked his first game behind the bench against the Sabres Monday.'
'The Birons' parents, Celine and Rejean, were in the crowd. “In the summer they were nagging each other, with Mathieu saying that he would score on Martin,'' Celine Biron said. “It was good that it was a nice goal. It wouldn't have been as nice if it was a cheap goal.'''
'"We gave them a 2-0 lead. Once it was 2-0 we started to play. It's too late."'
The Sabres now fall below the .500 mark and have lost two straight for the first time since the opening week.
'"If they're not the most improved team in the league, I don't know who is," an Eastern Conference scout says. "They've got a lot of skilled guys (at forward) who compete, and they're good enough defensively that if they get the goaltending, they're a playoff contender for sure."'
'"We're going to have some success if we play that hard on the road," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said after the game. "You're a little worried coming in there at 3 in the morning and (the Lightning) don't play the night before. We spent all night getting here, but our team came out and played a really good first period. They came on a little in the second, but I think in the third period we really took it to them again."'
'The Sabres are 3-1-1 over their past five games in Sunrise, Fla.'
'Here's the rub: Cherry's view is understandable, particularly since he's not versed in the local market, but Gare and Ray, should have at least challenged the statement. One or both, quite familiar with the issues in this market and the franchise, should have stated or re-stated some of the obvious points that factored into the decision to play in Rochester and why Buffalo has had difficulty selling tickets even with reduced prices.'
'G Martin Biron, the brother of Panthers defenseman Mathieu Biron, may start. He's 3-4-1 against the Panthers with a 2.57 goals-against average. They are 0-9 when allowing the first goal.'
'"We played well, and I don't feel we deserved the loss," goaltender Mika Noronen said. "Right now I feel pretty empty. We battled hard, but we just couldn't get it done."'
'"There's no use even putting a date on it. We're looking at quite a ways away."'
'The Sabres also fought hard Saturday and didn't fold the tent after falling down 2-0. Despite coming off a home game less than 24 hours earlier and not getting to their team hotel until nearly 3 a.m., Buffalo pulled to within a goal when Maxim Afinogenov managed to stay on his skates while circling between Dan Boyle and Grahame and kept enough puck control to put the puck past a sprawling Grahame.'
'Grahame came up big again Saturday, particularly late in the third period when he came up with two pad saves to preserve the victory, Tampa Bay's third consecutive.'