The return of the NHL

'“We’re finding ways to win,” Ruff said. “It may be special teams, it may be great goaltending, it may be strong defensive play. It’s been a little bit of each.”'

Surprising, surging Sabres are for real

'"The players that played there and are playing with us now know what it's about. They know that it's about team, it's about finding ways to win, it's about focus, it's about roles and responsibilities. "But more than anything it's about keeping the team first. I do think that that's had a very positive impact on our team this year. Even head coach Lindy Ruff expressed some surprise at the way his team took flight after the first month of the season."'

Meet the Sabres: Jay McKee

'"So, how about the best Christmas gift you've ever got as a grown up."

McKee: "Oh, I don't know. All I get anymore is socks and underwear. So, I guess whatever kind of underwear comes my way is the nicest thing I get now."'

Miller makes a statement

'"He was solid," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said of Miller. "He saw everything. He was totally under control. He made big saves when we needed big saves. He gave us momentum. He made the saves that picked the bench up. That was a big part of tonight's game. He was just looking to make a statement."'

Bad news for Briere means surgery

'"It's the same time frame as J.P., the two-month range," Ruff said. "We're looking at the same operation and the same length of recovery."'

Saturday’s Atlanta Coverage

Lehtonen’s return ruined as streak ends (Atlanta Journal Constitution)

Sellout may greet Heatley, Senators (Atlanta Journal Constitution)

Buffalo 4, Atlanta 1

‘Miller helped bail out a Buffalo team that started out sluggish following a draining 4-3 shootout loss to Toronto the night before. “I don’t know if that’s the case, but we trade on and off all the time,” Miller said. “They did a good job penalty killing tonight, and they did me a lot of favors as well.”‘

Sabres C Briere to have surgery for sports hernia

‘”It’s a big hit,” Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. “He’s a game-breaker and we’re going to miss him.”‘

Miller shines again as Sabres roll over Thrashers

‘Buffalo’s starting goalie at the beginning of the season, Miller was sidelined from November 3-December 9 with a fractured thumb. He has been outstanding since returning, winning all four of his outings and posting a .950 save percentage in the process.’

Sabres C Briere out indefinitely with abdominal tear

‘”He battled through, played a couple of games,” Buffalo’s coach said. “It’s a very small tear, especially in comparison to (right wing J.P. Dumont’s sports hernia injury). It obviously causes just as much pain. There isn’t any difference at all.”‘

Buffalo 4, Atlanta 1

‘Thomas Vanek, Maxim Afinogenov and Mike Grier netted goals for the Sabres, winners of three of their last four games. Ryan Miller made 34 saves to pick up his 10th win of the season.’

Sabres Mow Down Thrashers 4-1

‘Miller got the Sabres through a lackluster first period, but then they came out firing in the second. Chris Drury netted a power play goal just 51 seconds into the period to give Buffalo the lead and they would never let it go.’

Miller solid, surgery for Briere

‘”He made big saves when we needed big saves.”‘

Sabres vs. Thrashers – in game recap

‘An impressive 4-1 victory for the Sabres who dominated the majority of the game.’

Saturday’s Rochester Coverage (Updated 4:45 a.m.)

Amerks play giveaway in a defeat (Rochester D&C)

Season’s largest crowd attracted to Friday’s matchup despite talent drain (Rochester D&C)

Potulny’s 4 goals spark B-Sens (Binghamton Press and Sun Bulletin)

Amerks Continue Losing Ways (RNews.com)

Binghamton 6, Rochester 3 (AP)

Amerks fall to Senators (Amerks.com)

Four-goal game by Potulny leads Sens to victory (BinghamtonSenators.com)