Connolly waits to find out his fate

‘“The No. 1 option is to stay in Buffalo,” the center said. “Right now I don’t think about that too much. I think about how important these games are and how important it is to win hockey games right now and make the playoffs.”’

White’s pitch for Sabres is off base

‘Program Director Andy Roth defended using White as a ticket salesman. “It’s a strategy the Sabres want to do,” Roth said. “If it helps the Sabres, it’s great.”’

Saturday’s New York Coverage

Buffalo (31-24-7) at New York (18-36-7) (AP)

Islanders continue homestand against depleted Sabres (Sportsticker)

Buffalo Sabres (31-24-7) at New York Islanders (18-36-7) (The Sports Network)

Isles To Host Sabres Tonight (NewYorkIslanders.com)

Regier to continue talks

‘Darcy Regier told me today that he will be speaking with Tim Connolly’s agent today and likely this weekend. I asked the Sabres GM if he had made an offer and he said no. He said the discussions have been about what the sides are thinking or really the perameters of a deal.’

Saturday’s Portland Coverage

Portland ends skid with win at Worcester (Portland Press Herald)

NHL bad boy in town to face Pirates (Portland Press Herald)

Sharks going wrong way (Worcester Telegram and Gazette)

Pirates morale gain boost with the road win (Maine Hockey Journal)

Pirates Win 2-1 Over Sharks (PortlandPirates.com)

Sharks can’t solve Pirates (SharksAHL.com)

Trades can affect post-playing life, too

‘”I owe an awful lot to that man (Torrey) for my career,” said Regier. “And he was kind enough to refer to me as being a very efficient player, which I laughed about, and said I would prefer effective but I’ll take it.”‘

Pominville seeks U.S. Olympic team berth

‘”I never had to make a decision whether to go with one country or the other. It was the United States who asked me to play for them. It was a fun tournament; my first time competing in an international tournament. We had great guys on the team and we were coached by John Tortorella and Mike Sullivan. I really enjoyed myself. As much as I would have liked to be in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, I still wanted to play hockey and I definitely enjoyed myself.”‘

Ennis’ magical night

‘It is believed that Ennis is the first player to score six goals in a game in the history of the Tigers organization. He was one goal away from equaling the WHL record for most goals in a single contest at seven, which is held by five different players. “Every time I scored and came back to the bench it was just like ‘wow,’” said Ennis, who had an ear-to-ear grin during the post-game media scrum. “I couldn’t believe it. They just kept going in.”’

Ducks still outraged by late hit on Getzlaf

‘“I’m not happy,” Ducks general manager Bob Murray said after Gaustad was in Buffalo’s lineup for Thursday night’s 2-1, shootout loss to the Carolina Hurricanes in Raleigh, N.C. “If we’re going to be suspended for blows to the head, then they have to look at the other teams when our guys get hit. This just astounds me that Gaustad is not getting something for this, because that was on purpose and deliberate.”’

Sabres’ effort, goaltending shine in shootout loss

‘The Sabres weren’t disheartened by the Hurricanes’ leap into a postseason position. They took solace in dominating the first two periods, in which they held a 24-13 shot edge, and were pleased with the number of chances they created. The problem was beating Cam Ward only once on their 37 shots and not at all in the shootout.’

Vanek says his return is just days away

‘”I hope so,” Vanek said prior to Thursday’s game against the Carolina Hurricanes. “I would like to play tonight, but obviously it’s not stable enough yet. So hopefully another week and I’ll be back.”‘

Friday’s Carolina Coverage

Canes squeeze by Sabres (Raleigh News and Observer)

Photo gallery (Raleigh News and Observer)

Hurricanes 2, Sabres 1 (SO) (CarolinaHurricanes.com)

Photo gallery (CarolinaHurricanes.com)

Photo gallery (Sabres.com)

Jokinen’s shootout goal lifts Canes

‘A game-time decision with the flu, Patrick Lalime had a strong game, making 31 saves for the Sabres. Buffalo has lost two in a row since star goalie Ryan Miller sprained his ankle Saturday night against the New York Rangers. “Sometimes when you’re feeling your worst, you play your best,” Ruff said of Lalime. “It gets you in a little bit more of a relaxed state. That’s a heck of an effort for not practicing yesterday and being run down. It was great to see.”’

Carolina 2, Buffalo 1 (SO)

‘”I thought it was a great game both ways,” said Buffalo head coach Lindy Ruff. “The first 40 the puck movement was real good, we had some good opportunities we didn’t take advantage of then we got in some penalty trouble, it gave them some momentum. I thought we bounced back again in overtime and late in the third. I think everyone got their money’s worth.”‘

Ward, Hurricanes Outlast Sabres 2-1 In Shootout

‘All three Buffalo shooters — Ales Kotalik, Jason Pominville, and Tim Connolly — were stonewalled by Ward. Jokinen’s goal was the only shot that got past Lalime, but it was all the Canes would need for the win. Because the game ended after regulation, the Sabres get one point in the standings and are now tied with Carolina in the standings.’