Friday’s Atlanta Coverage (Updated 4:45 p.m.)

Atlanta (16-16-6) at Buffalo (25-11-2) (AP)

Sabres can tie franchise record for December victories (Sportsticker)

Atlanta Thrashers (16-16-6) at Buffalo Sabres (25-11-2) (The Sports Network)

Atlanta Thrashers @ Buffalo Sabres (AtlantaThrashers.com)

Sabres vs. Thrashers

‘Buffalo has won just three of its past 10 games against Atlanta.’

Sabres feeling good despite defeat

‘”It’s a mixed feeling,” Sabres defenseman Jay McKee said. “We’re happy with a point on the road, but it’s a divisional rival we don’t want to give any points up against. But after the start we had, to pull off another point, was a big achievement.”‘

It’s different when you’re being chased

‘For years, the Sabres have been hunters in hockey. They spent the past month winning, hoping nobody would notice. Now, it’s different. Now, they’re being hunted. “Teams are going to be more prepared for us,” McKee said. “We’d prefer to stay under the radar and sneak up on teams, but it’s not going to happen you’re record is sitting at 25-11-2.”‘

Ailing Briere will visit another specialist

‘”It may be moving in the direction of a sports hernia,” Sabres General Manager Darcy Regier said during the second intermission of Thursday night’s shootout loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Air Canada Centre. “Dr. Mulder is more concerned now than when he saw (Briere) back in the early part of December.”‘

Sabres show their mettle

'"We had a rough start when we gave up the shorthanded goal (to Ponikarovsky) because that takes all your momentum right away," he said. "You start to squeeze your sticks too hard. But we battled to the end, we battled really hard to get a point out of it and we'll take it."'

Friday’s Toronto Coverage (Updated 9:30 a.m.)

Leafs down Sabres despite depleted lineup (Toronto Sun)

Sundin sizzles, Biron fizzles (Toronto Sun)

Pony beginning to make his mark (Toronto Sun)

Steen close to a return (Toronto Sun)

Colaiacovo gets good news from doctors (Toronto Sun)

Leafs foil hot Sabres (Toronto Star)

Ponikarovsky: an unlikely hero (Toronto Star)

Sabres show their mettle (Toronto Star)

Toronto tops Buffalo in shootout to claim fourth consecutive victory (Toronto Globe and Mail)

Toronto deserves a pat on the back for defeating red-hot Buffalo (Toronto Globe and Mail)

Leafs slay Sabres in a shootout (National Post)

Close wins fuelling Buffalo’s hot run (National Post)

Seven Leafs on pace to top 20-goal mark (National Post)

Battered Leafs Were Ready to Play (MapleLeafs.com)

Toronto 4, Buffalo 3, SO

‘”The math has been really good for us until tonight,” Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff said.’

Shootout goals by Sundin and Ponikarovsky give Leafs 4-3 win over Sabres

‘”I really thought in the last 40 minutes we controlled the majority of the play and got a good point,” said coach Lindy Ruff. “When you get a good point on the road, it’s pretty well a job well done.”‘

Ponikarovsky starts, ends scoring as Maple Leafs edge Sabres

‘”We had a (terrible) start, we came out flat-footed, but it’s a huge point for us,” said Connolly, who has six points in his last three games. “The game was more up and down than we like to play.”‘

Toronto 4, Buffalo 3 (SO)

‘Tim Connolly had a goal and two assists for the Sabres, who had a two-game win streak halted and lost for just the second time in 11 contests. Buffalo fell to 17-2-2 in its last 21 games.’

Leafs Defeat Sabres In Shootout

‘Belfour turned away both Ales Kotalik and Thomas Vanek, while Mats Sundin and Alex Ponikarovsky scored on Martin Biron to give the Leafs the win.’

Sabres fall in Shootout, 4-3

‘”Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.”‘

Friday’s Rochester Coverage (Updated 1:00 p.m.)

Amerks coast in loss to Hamilton (Rochester D&C)

Dogged attitude earns Hamilton win (Hamilton Spectator)

Hamilton Hammers Amerks (RNews.com)

Hamilton 4, Rochester 1 (AP)

Lambert and Roy get three points apiece as Hamilton tops Rochester 4-1 (CP)

Amerks fall 4-1 to ‘Dogs (Amerks.com)

Lambert, Roy lead ‘Dogs to victory (HamiltonBulldogs.com)

‘Forward’ thinking propels Amerk’s Paetsch (NHL.com)

Sabres still carrying three goalies as other teams continue to inquire about Biron

'"It's a bad situation," Noronen said after the skate. "I'm just hoping they can figure out something and make a move. It's not good for anybody, especially for me because I'm not even in the lineup and I'm not playing. It's almost Jan. 1 and I just want something to happen because I want to play this game again."'