Keeping their distance

‘”They were rolling and they had lots of confidence coming in,” Briere said of the Thrashers. “They were the team that broke our [10-game streak to open the season], too. It was a game we wanted to show we can win and we can play better than we did the first meeting.”‘

Ruff will be coach for East All-Stars

‘”It’s a tremendous honor to go. It really is,” said Ruff, who coached the East in the 1999 game in Tampa Bay. “What will make it special is I hope we have four or five of our players. That’ll be the great thing about it.”‘

Gaustad&#8217s not quiet, no matter what stats say

‘“You can hear him in the locker or on the bench, wherever you are. He’s a talker. That’s a good thing,” Kotalik said after Saturday’s win. “It’s a sign of leadership. And I think in the future he’s going to be a leader of this organization.”’

Stafford back in lineup, Peters out

‘Stafford had played 14 games earlier in the season, scoring twice and adding three assists during his stay. The rookie scored 12 goals and added 10 assists in 20 games in Rochester. He’s also been a plus-11, good enough for second on the Amerks’ roster.’

Sunday’s Atlanta Coverage

Sabres stop Thrashers’ win streak (Atlanta Journal Constitution)

Hartley not worried about Kovalchuk (Atlanta Journal Constitution)

2 Thrashers backers united by gift of life (Atlanta Journal Constitution)

Post-Game Notes (AtlantaThrashers.com)

Buffalo 4, Atlanta 1

‘”We played a pretty strong game, but they capitalized on a couple of chances,” Thrashers coach Bob Hartley said. “That’s the kind of team that they have. We can’t fault our effort. We played a good game, and showed up to work.”‘

Buffalo 4, Atlanta 1

‘Miller was busy in the first period and made 13 saves while the team killed off three Atlanta power plays.’

Sabres Take Care Of Thrashers 4-1

‘Ryan Miller stopped 29 of 30 shots for his 20th victory of the season and with the win, Lindy Ruff has earned the chance to coach the Eastern Conference at the All-Star Game in Dallas on Wednesday, January 24th.’

Sabres Give Ruff Ticket To Dallas

‘Boasting a conference-best 57 points entering the game, Buffalo solidified Ruff as the Eastern Conference’s head coach at the 2007 NHL All-Star game with a 4-1 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers on Saturday night in HSBC Arena. Needing just a point, the win guaranteed Buffalo would finish ahead of the second-place Thrashers at the All-Star deadline later next week.’

Sabres end a great year with a great win against Atlanta

‘Drew Stafford made his 15th appearance of the season after being recalled earlier in the day from the Rochester Americans. Stafford, however, had to play with assistant coach Brian McCutcheon’s skates as his equipment never arrived in time for the game.’

Game # 38: Sabres 4, Thrashers 1

‘If there is one recurring trend in the Sabres’ tendencies to commit a litany of turnovers within short bursts of each game, it has been their inconsistent dump ins when going on the attack, and their failed attempts to clear their zone on the defensive side.’

Buffalo recalls Stafford

‘Stafford has 13 points (7+6) in his last eight games for the Amerks and has 12 goals and 10 assists on the season.’

.

.

Sunday’s Rochester Coverage

MacArthur’s scoring lifts Amerks to victory (Rochester D&C)

Leaky defense proves costly to Wolves (Chicago Sun Times)

Amerks Win in Windy City (RNews.com)

Amerks tame Wolves 5-3 (Amerks.com)

Buffalo recalls Stafford (Amerks.com)

Haydar’s streak lives as Rochester dumps Chicago (ChicagoWolves.com)

NHL needs smart suspensions

'…it's pretty easy to speculate why Ovechkin was not given a suspension. He happens to be one of the best players in the league and perhaps the only reason to watch the Capitals play. Consider, alternatively, the penalty the hit would have received had the player making it been a stiff like, say, Scott Nichol of the Nashville Predators. Funny how he got nine games for his sucker punch but Ovechkin got nothing for an illegal play that could have been equally devastating to the player on the receiving end.'