'"We're both known for our antics of getting under people's skin," Sabres enforcer Eric Boulton said. "I'll have some remarks for him, and he'll be all over my case, too."'
'“We can’t give up four goals in a game.”'
The players appear oblivious to the declining attendance and microscopic TV ratings. If they are so blind to the problems and so thick-headed that the NHL will be forced to shut down next season, it probably would be a blessing for hockey fans in Buffalo and many other league cities. An NFL-style salary cap, more parity on the ice and a more fan-pleasing style of play with an emphasis on free-wheeling, high-scoring hockey would be well worth sacrificing an entire season if necessary. It probably is Buffalos only hope for remaining in the NHL.
'Most importantly, goalie Rick DiPietro made 42 saves and withstood an early barrage from the desperate Sabres. He was the backbone of the critical road victory.'
'"The whole team knew this was a must-win for them and for us," said DiPietro, who claimed to be "fine" despite going down briefly after taking one late shot off the knee. "This was as big as it gets."'
'Despite the euphoria of a road win against a team fighting to overtake them in the playoff race, the Isles by no means think they've got anything sewed up. "As soon as we start thinking it's over," Adrian Aucoin said, "we're not going to be playing our game. I know from experience, this is a team that needs a reason to start playing better."'
'“It's not out of reach,'' coach Lindy Ruff said of the Sabres playoff status. “But it's going to be tough. We need to fire on all cylinders.'''
'"Losing two in a week and four on the season to the team we're chasing is obviously not very good," Drury said. "But there's still a chance and we're gonna keep chasing as hard as we can."'
'The game is about as critical as they come for the Sabres' postseason hopes.'
'"I don't pretend to think he's going to play Friday or Saturday," said Sabres coach Lindy Ruff, who downplayed the idea Kotalik could miss a more substantial chunk of time.'
'Season Series: Islanders lead, 3-0.'
Quinn said this seasons losses include several one-time expenditures, such as the installation of a new electronic ribbon board that rings HSBC Arena, the Sabres home, and a video ice projection system, which together cost about $3 million.
'The 25-year-old Kotalik, who has 15 goals and 11 assists in 62 games this season, will undergo more tests to determine severity of his shoulder strain.'
Sabres right wing Ales Kotalik had his right arm in a sling Thursday and is expected to miss at least the next two games because of a strained shoulder.
Remembering fond memories that fans have experienced with the Sabres has been a focal point this year for the Sabres organization. That trend will continue on Friday, February 27 when the Pour Man’s Aud Club will be unveiled prior to the start of the Sabres and New York Islanders game. The ribbon cutting ceremony and inaugural first-pour scheduled for 6:00 PM.