Sabres holding blood drive at HSBC Arena on March 2

‘The first 500 who present to donate will receive an autographed Buffalo Sabres hockey puck autographed by a Sabres player. There will be a kids area, free cholesterol screening, and visits from Sabretooth and Perry Winkle of Perry’s Ice Cream.’

Status quo won’t do, Regier needs to make his moves

For a general manager that is known to be conservative to a fault, Sabres fans better hope Regier doesn’t use Buffalo’s current “limbo” standing as a reason to keep the status quo.

A goaltending crisis for the Sabres?

‘“There’s some situations around the net where I think we have to be a little bit better or play differently when Ryan’s in there,” Ruff said. “But our style of play up ice isn’t going to change. We want to play a real aggressive game. We want our defense involved.”’

Sabres’ Lalime well enough to play

‘The flu that felled Patrick Lalime on Wednesday dissipated today, and Lalime will be in the nets tonight when the Sabres face the Carolina Hurricanes in RBC Center.’

Lalime illness puts Enroth on deck

‘“You talk to their coaches and they’ve given him a lot of credit for the way he’s played,” Ruff said. “He’s a pretty confident kid that stepped in the American League, and if you look at the job he did you wouldn’t expect him to step in and play as well as he did the first 20-30 games.”’

Ducks squawk over Gaustad&#8217s hit

‘“They’re entitled to their opinion,” Carlyle scoffed. “We’re a dirty team? As I said, everybody is entitled to their opinion. All I know is our player received an illegal check with nobody around him, so we’ll let the league make the determination.”’

Stars in their eyes

‘Tim Connolly, C, Buffalo. This is among the most intriguing possibilities because he’s capable of averaging a point per game, but his health is a major issue. Would he come back at the right price? If not, who would the Sabres get in return? Columbus is interested.’

Thursday’s Carolina Coverage

Eye on the Hurricanes (Raleigh News and Observer)

Canes face Sabres in important game (Durham Herald Sun)

Buffalo (31-24-6) at Carolina (31-26-5) (AP)

Depleted Sabres look to bounce back against Hurricanes (Sportsticker)

Buffalo Sabres (31-24-6) at Carolina Hurricanes (31-26-5) (The Sports Network)

Game Notes (CarolinaHurricanes.com)

Thursday’s Portland Coverage

Sports Digest (Portland Press Herald)

Springfield builds a 3-0 lead, but needs Cody Wild’s overtime goal to win 4-3 Wednesday (Springfield Republican)

On a night of few positives, the Pirates earn a point (Maine Hockey Journal)

Pirates sign Briggs to man the pipes (Maine Hockey Journal)

Pirates Earn Point in 4-3 Overtime Loss to Falcons (PortlandPirates.com)

Falcons top Pirates 4-3 in OT (FalconsAHL.com)

Was it a cheap shot? Ducks, Sabres disagree

‘"I looked at it and I didn’t think he (Gaustad) left his feet," Ruff said, refuting Carlyle’s claim. "I don’t know if Paul even saw him (Getzlaf). Paul turned into the play, and when I first saw it, I didn’t think it was much. Then I saw Getzlaf. They must have banged heads. If Paul would’ve saw him, do you think they would have banged heads? I don’t think so. There’s an aggressive, dirty team that’s calling us dirty now. I like it."’

Lalime plays well, but Sabres fall

‘“You’ve got to capitalize,” Ruff said. “This it the time of the year you’ve got to step up and those have got to be put away. Big goals at big times. With key personnel out, those are situations you’ve got to take advantage of."’

Lalime’s questionable status leaves Sabres in a dilemma

‘After Enroth, the Sabres have no current backup plan in place as Adam Dennis is out indefinitely after undergoing hip surgery in January.’

Sekera is quickly developing into a solid blueliner

‘Sekera is by no means an All-Star defenseman, but he ranks third among all Sabres in ice-time averaging almost 22 minutes a game. In 49 games played this season, the young blueliner has put up 14 points. Sekera is a fast skater with good hands and he is not afraid to rush the puck. His giveaways are few and a far between and having registered 48 hits, Reggie – as he is known by his teammates – is not afraid to throw his body around.’

Lalime questionable

‘“It will all depend on how he’s feeling. Maybe he’ll be able to go, maybe he won’t,” Ruff said. “He’s going to see a doctor around noon today so we’ll get an update.”’

Lalime has flu, status questionable

‘Coach Lindy Ruff said Lalime woke up ill in the middle of the night after playing in Buffalo’s 3-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks. Lalime made 18 saves in his first start after Ryan Miller suffered a high ankle sprain Saturday night.’