'Penguins: Are 2-0 vs. Buffalo, including 2-1 overtime victory on road Nov. 14. … C Milan Kraft has four goals and eight assists in past 11 games. … 8-1-1 record in past 10 games is best of any NHL team.'
Archives for March 2004
'The Sabres are coming off a 2-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday night, and have won two in a row. They are six points behind the New York Islanders for the eighth and final playoff seed in the Eastern Conference with six games left including tonight.'
'And now, let’s make a return to reality. As has been their pattern of late, the Sabres played a gritty game and deserved a positive result. In nine of their last 11 games Buffalo has earned at least a point, going 6-2-0-3. Unfortunately, the Islanders have rebounded from a rough patch a few weeks ago to match the Sabres’ streak and maintain their advantage.'
It was an impressive display and a clutch victory. Now the Buffalo Sabres only need to repeat that six more times in succession and hope the New York Islanders disintegrate like a sandcastle in a tsunami.
One certainty about Martin Biron is that he can be asked one question, and he’ll provide 37 answers. He was asked about his baseball cap Wednesday after the Sabres’ morning skate, and he somehow rolled it into a story about his father working the tobacco fields back in Quebec. By the time he was finished, I wondered how he started.
'"He does a lot of good things for our club," coach Lindy Ruff said. "He does a lot of things that he doesn't get a lot of recognition for. He's the guy that'll respond for any teammate on the team. He's got good hands.'
'The good news is the Canadiens aren't likely to meet the Buffalo Sabres in the National Hockey League playoffs. That's good news because the Canadiens have this thing about playing at HSBC Arena. They haven't won a game in Buffalo since Oct. 26, 2001, and their losing streak reached seven games last night when they dropped a 2-1 decision to the Sabres.'
'The Buffalo Sabres believe they're still in the running for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference but their fans don't seem to share that faith. Before last season, you could always count on a sellout crowd when the Canadiens played in Buffalo, but there were more than 2,000 unsold tickets for last night's game.'
'The Canadiens went down with a flurry of shots in the final five minutes. Some were able to get through to Biron, while others were blocked by defenders, who were diving to stop pucks at every opportunity. “Guys were really playing hard in front of me,'' Biron said.'
'"The six games we have left, I know we may have to go out and win all of them," Sabres defenseman Jay McKee said. "We're looking at it as one game at a time. … Sure, it's a big task, but I think every player in this room didn't get to the point in hockey where he is without thriving on challenges."'
'Regardless of the score or situation this season, a Sabres fan can never rest too easy. Buffalo was dominant for the entire game until Montreal scored in the final minutes. Luckily for the Sabres, Martin Biron was able to keep the offensive onslaught at bay to save a 2-1 victory at HSBC Arena.'
'"Derek is fearless in that sense," coach Lindy Ruff said. "I've been really impressed with some of the composure he's shown. I think the tighter the game gets and the more fierce it gets, he kind of lowers the visor and becomes a little mini-bull."'
'The Canadiens can clinch a playoff spot with a win or tie tonight.'
'For the record, the last time Montreal won in Buffalo was Oct. 26, 2001. Since then, the Canadiens have lost six consecutive games, although they picked up a point last season for an overtime loss.'
'''Right now the seed we're planting is there's a good chance that if we can put on a real good run that we can get in,'' Ruff said. ''Seven and 0. I'm not saying it's unrealistic.'''