Sabres Strike For Seven In Win Over Tampa; Clinch Playoff Spot

‘Paul Gaustad tipped in Craig Rivet’s point shot past Antero Niittymaki to give the Sabres a 1-0 lead nearly two-and-a-half minutes into the game. Gaustad’s 11th goal of the year was assisted by Rivet and Mike Grier. Vincent Lecavalier was ejected from the game midway through the first after spearing Tim Kennedy with his stick. Lecavalier received a five-minute major penalty for spearing and a 10-minute misconduct.’

Sunday’s Portland Coverage

Pirates headed back to playoffs (Portland Press Herald)

Portland Pirates beat Springfield Falcons 2-1 in American Hockey League (Springfield Republican)

Pirates clinch berth in 2010 Calder Cup Playoffs with 2-1 Win over Falcons (Maine Hockey Journal)

Pirates Rally for Late Victory (PortlandPirates.com)

Jensen Inducted as 13th Member of Pirates’ Hall (PortlandPirates.com)

Falcons fall to Pirates 2-1 in Portland (FalconsAHL.com)

No mystery behind Senators’ dominance of Sabres

‘“They get a lead and dictate the neutral zone,” Miller said. “It becomes a little more frustrating.”‘

Sabres notebook

‘With back-to-back games and another Monday, Ryan Miller needs to rest soon after seven straight starts. The Sabres don’t have consecutive days off until April 4-5. Tonight seems like a perfect time to give Lalime, a free agent this summer, possibly his final home nod.’

Tyler Ennis recalled from Portland

‘This will be the second recall of the season for Ennis, who is currently second on the Pirates in scoring with 65 points (23+42) in 69 games. The 21-year-old Ennis has played one game with the Sabres this season, scoring his first NHL goal at Philadelphia on November 14.’

Saturday’s Tampa Bay Coverage

Game preview: Tampa Bay Lightning at Buffalo Sabres (St. Petersburg Times)

Tampa Bay (30-32-12) at Buffalo (40-23-10) (AP)

Tampa Bay Lightning (30-32-12) at Buffalo Sabres (40-23-10) (The Sports Network)

Sabres aim for playoff berth vs. desperate Lightning (NHL.com)

Sabres aim for playoff berth vs. desperate Lightning (TampaBayLightning.com)

Game notes (Sabres.com)

Sabres fail to clinch playoff spot, lose again to Senators

‘“Every time we play them it’s a different day,” said Pominville, who reduced the Ottawa lead to 3-2 by going coast-to-coast 1:34 into the third period. “I do think at times that we give them a little too much respect for a team that’s trying to catch us. They outplayed us early on.”’

Ottawa continues its mastery over Sabres

‘The Sabres can deny it all they want, but the simple truth is that right now, they can’t beat Ottawa, and they failed to do so once again, losing 4-2 and delaying the punching of their postseason ticket until at least tonight when they play lowly Tampa Bay.’

Sabres fall to Senators, fail to clinch

‘”There’s plays inside the game that you won’t win unless we’re tougher on those plays. The [Derek] Roys, the Connollys, the [Thomas] Vaneks, those guys have got to be tougher on the puck.”‘

Hold off on planning the Cup parade

‘The Sabres had an opportunity to clinch a playoff berth Friday night, a formality that will take place with a victory tonight over Tampa Bay or at some point soon. They’re almost certain to win the division. They have the best goaltender in the league in Ryan Miller. But is anybody really convinced a contending team is in our midst? Uh, no.’

Obstacles don’t stop streaking Sens

‘"It’s not like we feel, "OK, it’s Buffalo. We know we’re going to win.’ " said captain Daniel Alfredsson. "We know it’s going to be a hard-fought game. We’re ready for it and we feel they kind of bring the best out in us."’

Saturday’s Ottawa Coverage

Senators a cut above (Ottawa Citizen)

Kovalev ‘possible’ against Panthers (Ottawa Citizen)

Who’s it going to be for Sens? (Ottawa Citizen)

Game File (Ottawa Citizen)

Photo gallery (Ottawa Citizen)

Sens’ Elliott baffles Buffalo (Ottawa Sun)

Senators Rock NBC prime-time (Ottawa Sun)

Photo gallery (OttawaSenators.com)

Photo gallery (Sabres.com)

Photo gallery (AP)

Photo gallery (Buffalo News)

The following are rough English translations from French language sources:

The Senators continue their domination (Le Droit)

Patrick Lalime does not want to think of the retirement (Le Droit)

Senators win ninth straight over Sabres

‘“Our special-teams players didn’t compete hard enough,” Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. “I was angry with the power play in general. That’s where the lack of compete came in.”’

Ottawa 4, Buffalo 2

‘Instead of locking up a spot in the postseason, Buffalo saw its lead over Ottawa in the Northeast Division shrink to five points and had a four-game win streak halted.’

Senators Stop Sabres 4-2

‘The Sens have now won all 5 matchups this season, with the Sabres going 0-4-1 in those games.’