Paille, Kotalik provide lift upon return

'“I thought both of them supplied good energy,” Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. “I thought Al really skated well and Danny skated well, and the bonus is to get both of them to score.”'

Sabres delinquent on $86,000, business group says

‘Buffalo Place wants to collect the $18,000-a-year charge from the arm of the Sabres that handles its real estate matters. The annual payments are tied to the team’s original 1995 arena lease agreement with Erie County and the Erie County Industrial Development Agency.’

Sabres close in on conference title

'"It means a lot down the stretch," left wing Daniel Paille said of posting a strong win against a quality club. "They're a good team. It's really tough to beat them."'

Sabres gain confidence with win over Devils

‘”To have them three (points) back or seven back, that was a very important win for us,” said coach Lindy Ruff. “If they can close it to within three, they’re looking at that as a great opportunity to overtake us. Now it’s seven points with five games left. That’s a good spread, so it was a very important win in terms of the standings.”‘

Kotalik returns to old/new line

‘Kotalik’s goal came off a feed from new linemate Dainius Zubrus, who shared a renewed enthusiasm with his new linemate. Zubrus had some of his best chances as a Sabre, including a rush through the middle of the Devils’ defense in the second period that nearly broke a 1-1 tie. Is this a combination destined for big things? “I can’t say after just one game, but I was just happy to play on this line with these guys,” Kotalik said.’

Players’ returns pay off for Sabres

‘They were triumphant returns for Paille, probably the most unsung of Buffalo’s injured skaters, and Kotalik who has arguably the most potent shot on the squad. “I think they both came in and provided a good spark,” said Mair, who played the right wing on the fourth line that Paille centered. “It’s good to get some of our guys back and healthy, but in the same breath we were happy with what we were doing before. The depth on the team, especially up front, is great.”‘

Thursday’s New Jersey Coverage

Home or away (New York Post)

Eastern Conference battle ends in Devils defeat (Newark Star Ledger)

Brodeur closes in on Parent’s record (Newark Star Ledger)

Devils remain tied for first after loss (Bergen Record)

Sabres 4, Devils 3 (NewJerseyDevils.com)

Buffalo 4, New Jersey 3

‘Rookie Daniel Paille and Ales Kotalik also scored, while Ryan Miller stopped 28 shots to help the Sabres extended their lead atop the East standings to seven points over the Devils, as well as idle Pittsburgh and Ottawa.’

Buffalo 4, New Jersey 3

‘Daniel Paille and Ales Kotalik celebrated their respective returns to the lineup with a goal each for Buffalo, which has 105 points and a comfortable seven-point lead over the Devils for first place in the conference. With the win, the Sabres pulled even with Nashville for most points in the league.’

Sabres Top Devils 4-3

‘Ryan Miller made 28 saves in the win, while Daniel Briere notched his 90th point of the season with an assist, the first Sabre to reach that plateau since Pat LaFontaine in the 1995-96 season. With the win, Buffalo moves seven points ahead of the Devils and Senators for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.’

Fighting For Wiggle Room

‘”It was a really good win for our team,” said head coach Lindy Ruff. “The fact that we had to tone down our style of play. That we had to be a lot more patient. I thought we cleaned up a lot of the careless errors and careless turnovers that had been hurting us.”‘

Game # 76: Sabres 4, Devils 3

‘Finally finding a few cracks in New Jersey’s defensive armor with timely rebounds and quick-strike shots, the dam burst for Buffalo’s offense in the third period, sending them on to an impressive victory and further strengthening their collective stranglehold on their divisional and conference leads.’

Sabres grab stranglehold on Eastern Conference

‘The win for Buffalo (49-20-7) comes after two grueling practices in response to the team’s less-than-stellar performances Friday and Saturday. “It just seems that when we try to keep it simple,” Paille said, “we get those breaks. We definitely worked a little bit harder towards that final stretch there. We deserved that win.”’

Third period breakout does the trick for Sabres

‘The third period brought some excitement to a rather simple and boring hockey game. After 40 minutes of play, this had another Sabres-Devils snoozer written all over it. Luckily, Buffalo broke out in final period with three great goals while the Devils made it just interesting enough with two goals of their own.’

Thursday’s Rochester Coverage

Defensive errors costly to Amerks (Rochester D&C)

No calls upset Cunneyworth (Rochester D&C)

Toronto 5, Rochester 4 (AP)

Early Lead Lost (RNews.com)

Marlies upend Amerks (Amerks.com)

Marlies Down Amerks (TorontoMarlies.com)

Git-R-Done (SabresFans.com)

Amerks inching closer to AHL playoff berth (LetsGoSabres.com)