'The Sabres broke an eight-game winless streak with a 3-1 win over Carolina on Friday, and, after a 3-1 win at Washington on Saturday, are unbeaten in three games. Miroslav Satan had a goal and two assists against the Capitals. … Goalie Mika Noronen posted back-to-back wins for the first time this season. … Chris Drury, who has missed four games with a shoulder injury, could play tonight. Defenseman Andy Delmore (groin) and forward J.P. Dumont (hip) are doubtful. … Defenseman Alexei Zhitnik has three assists and is plus-2 in the past three games. … The Sabres have taken 114 shots in the past four games, scoring 10 goals.'
'"It's a big relief to finally win some games," said Satan, who had two assists. "Hopefully, we get confidence and continue to play this way."'
'"I thought he played a safe game," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. "I would like to have seen him skate more, but for a first game I thought he held his own."'
'"We had our chances tonight, but we couldn't get the puck to go in," right wing Mike Grier said. "We had the puck in their zone a lot; we just didn't get it on net enough."'
'Peter Bondra scored Washington's only goal (on his only shot) and hit two pipes but the Sabres held a commanding 40-22 advantage in shots. Actually, what hurt the Caps was taking the second period off — they had two shots and one was a gift — as the Sabres, winners of one of their last nine games, were minus their leading scorer.'
'The Caps did not set a record for fewest penalties in a game by both teams but came close. Washington and Buffalo combined for three minor infractions, two by the visitors, one more than the team record.'
'"That first goal was something we didn't expect," added Satan, who tied the game at 1 and later assisted on both the game-winner by Daniel Briere in the third period and an empty-net insurance goal by Jochen Hecht. "It gave us a chance to start over again and we took it."'
'The Buffalo Sabres had a simple game plan, one that worked to near perfection: Don't do anything stupid.'
'“The thing that's most impressive was that we had a couple of key players out of the lineup, two of your top three in the points department,'' Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff said. “The guys stuck with it, played hard and got rewarded.'''
'Head Coach Lindy Ruff made the decision to move Satan up a line to play with Daniel Briere and Jochen Hecht in place of injured J.P. Dumont. It was a good move for Buffalo as each of the players scored a goal in the win, with Satan in on every goal.'
Lindy Ruff is breathing a little easier these days. His players gave him a Christmas present that may have saved his job, for the rest of 2003 anyway. After losing seven straight games, which included four straight at home, the Buffalo Sabres tied Ottawa Tuesday and then beat the Carolina Hurricanes 3-1 Friday night.
'Dumont initially thought his season was over. "It was really scary out there," Dumont said. "But when the doctor told me it wasn't out (of joint), that was good news."'
'“Others have had the opportunity to do the job and they haven’t,” he said. “He’s very intuitive. He knows where to be.”'
'The game was another wasted effort by goalie Kevin Weekes. It was another exercise in futility for an offense that has the substance of a Paris Hilton reality show.'
'“It actually happened the shift before,'' Dumont said. “I went for a rebound and fell on my hip. I thought it was just a bruise. After the faceoff, I tried to go around the guy and I felt it pull again. It was very painful.'''