Shorthanded success

‘Penalty killing is an area the Sabres focus in on and have been for many seasons, Paille said. “We definitely wanted to improve on that from last year,” he said after a recent practice at HSBC Arena.’

Sabres taking a break

‘They will fly to Washington at 8 a. m. Friday, have a game-day skate at 11:30 and then play the game at 7 before returning home to host the New York Islanders on Saturday night at 7 in HSBC Arena.’

MacArthur leaves funk behind

‘“I’ve been trying to stay positive, knowing I was getting chances and goals would come. You’re trying to stay on an even plane and that can be tough to do.”’

Injury update 12/23/08

‘The following are Ruff’s comments on the injuries…’.

Sabres see positives in OT loss

‘“We got ourselves in a hole and we got (into eighth),” said Sabres goalie Ryan Miller, whose team also fell Saturday in Montreal. “It’s a step forward. We’ve got a long way to go, but we can take a little bit of a break here, a little bit of a breather, readjust and feel good that we got ourselves out of a rut. We’ve been playing good hockey. It hasn’t translated everything into wins, but I think you guys can agree it’s been pretty damn good hockey.”’

&#8217Tis the season for hope

‘So, which is the better way to look at the Sabres? Well, it is Christmas. Let’s take the positive route.’

Kaleta sidelined, but not by concussion

‘“All I can say is I’m feeling a lot better than I did,” Kaleta said. “I felt pretty good just skating out there today, so hopefully I can get checked on again and be ready to go.”’

Maine man

‘Ellis, who played 19 games with the Kings last season after being placed on waivers by the Detroit Red Wings, said there was no hard feelings once he learned his stay in L. A. was finished. He understands he wasn’t in the Kings’ future. It’s the same thing he experienced with the Red Wings about 10 months ago. "That’s the way things work in pro hockey. There wasn’t an opportunity there (L. A.) for me. Things happen for a reason," said Ellis, whose Sabres lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins at HSBC Arena last night.’

Despite losses, Sabres giving small presents

‘Despite the loss, the Sabres have a different grit than they did just a few weeks ago. Drew Stafford is going harder, and although his five-game points streak was snapped Monday, he was still one of the team’s better players. Clarke MacArthur scored again, giving him tallies in three straight.’

Tuesday’s Pittsburgh Coverage

Crosby lifts Penguins with winning shot in OT (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)

Penguins eschewing personal seat licenses (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)

Players say rare bus trip refreshing (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)

Crosby’s OT goal lifts Pens to win (Pittsburgh Tribune Review)

Whitney awaits word on his role (Pittsburgh Tribune Review)

Aftermath: Penguins 4, Sabres 3 OT (PittsburghPenguins.com)

Photo gallery (PittsburghPenguins.com)

Photo gallery (Sabres.com)

Crosby&#8217s OT goal lifts Penguins to 4-3 win

‘Alex Goligoski scored twice and added an assist, and Marc-Andre Fleury made 32 saves to help the Penguins rally from a two-goal deficit.’

Pittsburgh 4, Buffalo 3 (OT)

‘Early in the extra session, Alex Goligoski gained control of the puck in the left circle and slipped a bouncing pass to the right circle for Evgeni Malkin. His fluttering one-timer knuckled toward the crease, where Crosby tipped it home with his stick just below the crossbar.’

Penguins Rally To Beat Sabres in OT 4-3

‘Crosby ended it in overtime, although his was a goal that had to be reviewed. Malkin took a shot that fluttered in the air and came down in the net, but only after Crosby redirected it with his stick. The goal was allowed after officials decided Crobsy did not swat the puck down with a high stick.’

MacArthur’s redemption

‘Since returning to the lineup Dec. 17, MacArthur has done just that, tallying at least a point in each game – including a goal Monday night at HSBC Arena as Buffalo fell to the Pittsbugh Penguins 4-3 in overtime.’

Another blown opportunity

‘There is no question the Buffalo Sabres are playing better. They still have their moments, but they are playing a more consistent style of play and aren’t getting blown out in games. But they do need to learn how to keep a lead, especially those precious one goal leads that they have had plenty of in recent games. The Sabres had a 2-0 lead tonight before blowing that lead in exactly seven minutes by giving up two goals to the Pittsburgh Penguins in that time frame. After they took a 3-2 lead, they gave up a power play goal in the third that tied the game. This was reminiscent of the game against Montreal on Saturday when Buffalo blew three one-goal leads. In both games, the Sabres lost in overtime.’