'The Islanders are getting a little nervous. "I don't want to take anything away from Buffalo," Islanders winger Mark Parrish said Sunday night. "Buffalo is playing pretty good right now. They're doing exactly what we're supposed to be doing, which is making points."'
'The Sabres are an entertaining team from the coaching staff down, a failure anywhere higher until the ladder reaches owner Tom Golisano. For years, fans pleaded for an honest effort on the ice, and that's exactly what they received this season. It would have been nice if Regier and the front office worked as hard as the players did.'
'The Sabres are enjoying the season's best month at 7-2-1-3.'
'The Blue Jackets are 3-1-1-0 against the Sabres, including 2-1-1-0 in HSBC Arena. This is the first and only meeting this season.
'"We're a point closer. That's a little bit of a positive," Sabres center Daniel Briere said. "But we're running out of time. We're only making it more difficult on ourselves."'
'"I look at our team for what it is," Quinn said. "I think it's a playoff team. There just may be circumstances we don't make it this year." Earth to Larry, come in Larry.'
'I go back to the middle of December, when we came out of a seven-game losing streak. The core group of players in that room — Chris Drury, Daniel Briere, Alexei Zhitnik, Miroslav Satan, the likes of those guys — bought into what we're doing and have taken control. They've made it their team.'
'Buffalo probably will end up in the lottery, too, but still has an outside chance of overtaking the New York Islanders for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The point the Sabres earned last night, coupled with the Islanders' 3-2 loss to Carolina, moved the Sabres within five points of New York.'
'"We had a tough time with confidence early on," D Jay McKee said. "All of our positions were struggling at different times. There were times our goaltenders were struggling, times when we couldn't score goals, times with the defense could have been better. Since then, though, we've found some chemistry, and everything blended right away. And we're still playing with a lot of passion. We have a room full of guys who believe we can still get into the playoffs."'
'"We have to win games," said coach Lindy Ruff, whose Sabres are now seven points behind the Islanders. "You are walking such a fine line right now that you can make mistakes and it can cost you a game."'
'Defenseman Brooks Orpik grew up in Amherst, N.Y., a suburb of Buffalo, and watched the Sabres play many times. "I came to a lot of games," he said. "I was never really a fan. But my dad is in the hockey business, so he was always down (at HSBC arena), actually across the street at the old arena. But I was down here a lot and out at their practice rink a ton growing up."'
'“It's tough to not get the two points,'' Sabres forward Mike Grier said. “Now we're pretty much going to have to win them all and still get at least another two losses from the Islanders. We had some chances.'''
'Pittsburgh outshot Buffalo, 18-5, after the second period.'
'With the win Buffalo now improves its record to 35-32-6-4 and does gain a point on the New York Islanders with the tie. The Sabres now trail by only five points but giving up the two goal lead may come back to haunt Buffalo with only four games left for both teams.'
'The Buffalo Sabres need every point they can get if they want to secure a berth in the 2004 postseason. But for the final 25 minutes of Saturday night’s game, it was the Penguins who played like they might be heading to the playoffs this year.'