Quick spark lights up win for Sabres

‘”It’s always special playing against them and getting a little payback,” said winger Ales Kotalik, whose penalty-shot goal with 42 seconds remaining stamped an exclamation point on the victory. “You can almost see yourself playing in the Stanley Cup finals.”‘

Friday’s Carolina Coverage

Sabres pound Canes (Raleigh News and Observer)

Brind’Amour makes his points quietly (Raleigh News and Observer)

Sabres Finish Season Sweep Of Canes

‘Chris Drury and Thomas Vanek would both reach the 20 goal mark for the season and Ryan Miller stopped 29 shots leading Buffalo to the 4-1 victory.’

Sweeping the Bad Memories Away

‘”In my mind, that loss [in Game Seven] is still fresh,” said Ales Kotalik, who scored his 11th goal of the season with a penalty shot in the third period after being pulled down on a breakaway by Erik Cole. “You can’t forget being knocked out in Game Seven when you’re leading 2-1 after two periods. You can see yourself in the Stanley Cup Finals and you will never be able to forget.”‘

Sabres make statement in season sweep of Canes

‘Each time, the Sabres made their own statement, swatting away the Canes the way Miller swats away breakaways.’

Game # 37: Sabres 4, Hurricanes 1

‘If the steam emanating from Ruff’s ears during his post-game press conference gave any hint of the nature of his first intermission lecture to his slow-starting team, the Sabres know they are skating on thin ice, if they come out on Saturday against Atlanta with another lackadaisical start like they had against Carolina.’

Friday’s Rochester Coverage

Anderson strives to regain knack for stopping puck (Rochester D&C)

Amerks prepare to battle Binghamton Senators (Amerks.com)

Amerks lose two of three over holiday weekend (LetsGoSabres.com)

Buffalo 4, Carolina 1

‘”I don’t know how many months it’s been, but it’s always there,” said Buffalo center Chris Drury, who had one of the goals. “But I certainly liked the way we played them this year.”‘

Buffalo 4, Carolina 1

‘”That was the best game we played against them,” Carolina captain Rod Brind’ Amour said. “We really should have had a few in the first period, I think it would have been a different game. If we got out front it would have been a much different story. We didn’t and then they got three rebound goals, kind of goals you can?t let happen.”‘

Gaustad proves a chemistry catalyst

'The Buffalo Sabres placed Paul Gaustad on a line with Drury and Kotalik five games ago, and they have scored in three of them – usually before the fans have settled into their seats.'

Briere hit won't be last lick

'"They're looking for a mountain in a molehill," said coach Lindy Ruff. "I could show you two or three two-handed slashes that are worse than a little push with the stick. It's a non-issue with me."'

Year of the team status is confirmed

'There's little doubt that 2006 will be remembered in Buffalo Sabres annals as the year of the team. The Sabres were almost without peer when it came to winning, and they did it without dynamic individual efforts.'

Sabres vs. Hurricanes

'RW Justin Williams has seven goals in the past seven games.'

League reviews Briere spear

'No penalty was called, but a deliberate spear calls for a five-minute major penalty, an automatic game misconduct and a league review. Buffalo plays host to Carolina tonight and any league discipline would have to be handed down before the game.'

Thursday’s Carolina Coverage (Updated 10:30 a.m.)

Canes to test the NHL’s best (Raleigh News and Observer)

Eye on the Hurricanes (Raleigh News and Observer)

Carolina (20-14-4) at Buffalo (26-7-3) (AP)

Hurricanes seek sixth consecutive win vs. Sabres (Sportsticker)

Carolina Hurricanes (20-14-4) at Buffalo Sabres (26-7-3) (The Sports Network)

Game notes (CarolinaHurricanes.com)

Game # 37: Carolina @ Buffalo (SabresFans.com)