'"We're in real tough shape," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. "You take out three of your top "D' and that hurts the team."'
'The Sabres dressed rookie tough guy Andrew Peters for only the second time in 17 games Saturday night against the Ottawa Senators in the Corel Centre. Eric Boulton was a healthy scratch.'
'Jeanneret, 61, had been experiencing chest discomfort for a few days and decided to seek medical attention upon arriving at the Corel Centre. He was taken to a nearby hospital, where tests ruled out a heart problem. He was given a clean bill of health and flew back with the team following the Sabres' 7-1 loss.'
'Coach Lindy Ruff has been openly critical of netminders Noronen and Martin Biron, having hooked his starting goaltender in three of the Sabres' previous seven games. Last night, he opted to let Noronen finish what he started, throwing up his hands about what to do next.'
'Chara is now plus-37.'
'Heading into his first NHL game of the year, and his first time facing the team for which he had 3,189 PIMs in 889 career games, Ray admitted he had some butterflies. "I was nervous, more nervous today than before the first game I played (for Ottawa) last year," he said afterwards. "Playing friends, and an organization that was so good to me and I'd been around 15 or 16 years … it was difficult."'
'The distinctive voice of Sabres play-by-play man Rick Jeanneret was missing after he was taken to hospital before the game after experiencing chest pains.'
'“We started well, we got the first goal and, after that, they kept coming,'' Noronen said. “From my point of view, I let in one or two easy goals and we couldn't bounce back.'''
'The Senators held a 16-5 advantage in shots during the period and poured it on in the third. Peter Bondra scored at 5:40, Marian Hossa tallied two minutes later and grinder Chris Neil hit the net at 16:08.'
‘Meanwhile, the Buffalo defense has started a dangerous trend for a team trying to chase down the final playoff spot. In the last four games Buffalo has been out-scored 23-5.’
'The Senators are 14-0-3-2 in the Corel Centre since Dec. 13.'
'"There's no question that Buffalo is a big thorn in our side because they play such a patient game. For us to win, we can't afford to give an 80-85% effort. We have to make sure that we're all giving 100%."'
'The Senators will be starting G Patrick Lalime tonight, but who will be in net for the Sabres is anyone's guess. Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff pulled both G Martin Biron and G Mika Noronen in the club's two games before last night's tilt with the New York Islanders. In fact, the Sabres' starter has been replaced in three of the last six games.'
'"We didn't give up very much," said Sabres coach Lindy Ruff. "We created three times more chances than we gave up. I thought we did everything but score. What's demoralizing is that a couple of their goals were tough goals. We need a little better goaltending performance. We needed a couple more saves. We can't give up four goals a game."'
'Yeah, I know. The Sabres still have 18 games remaining and can rescue their season if they get on another tear. The truth is the first hot streak was nothing short of miraculous. Everything, and I mean everything, fell into place when the Sabres took off with a 9-1-1 record. Yes, it could happen again. Mika Noronen might score again, too.'