NY Islanders 5, Buffalo 2

‘”We had some good effort in parts of the game, but there was no finishing,” said Buffalo head coach Lindy Ruff. “You can win all the battles, but if you don’t finish plays, you don’t win.”‘

Sabres Fall to Islanders 5-2

‘The Islanders are letting the Sabres try and make a game out of this one, but Buffalo isn’t able to take advantage.’

Regier Not Concerned About Miller’s Workload

‘When pressed on the status of the team’s backup goalie in response to the overall health of the team, Darcy defended Patrick Lalime. “I think Patty [Lalime] contributes a lot in different ways. Obviously, you’re talking about playing and he’s not playing and that’s what you sign on for. If you sign up to back up Ryan Miller, you sign on to back up in the case of Brodeur, or [Vancouver Canucks goalie Roberto] Luongo or players like that, that’s the deal. Your responsibility is to be ready to be called when you’re called on to play as frequently or infrequently as that might be.”‘

The aftermath: Islanders 5, Sabres 2

‘Patrick Lalime replaced Ryan Miller in goal at 10:30 of the first period to make just his second appearance in the last two months. Lalime’s last appearance came on Dec. 17 in Florida when he played the final two periods in relief of Miller. Prior to that, he had not played in a game since starting at home against Tampa Bay on Nov. 20. Miller made his 24th consecutive start tonight, the longest such streak in the NHL this season.’

Keep an eye on surging Sabres in race for playoffs

‘This team is too good, starting with goaltender Ryan Miller, to be struggling for a playoff spot.’

Saturday’s Portland Coverage

Pirates inch closer to top (Portland Press Herald)

Roloff returns to give Pirates the win (Maine Hockey Journal)

Sharks stumble in third period (Worcester Telegram and Gazette)

Effective Third Period Vaults Pirates Over Sharks (PortlandPirates.com)

Portland bests Worcester 5-2 (SharksAHL.com)

Friday’s New York Coverage

New York (14-24-7) at Buffalo (21-20-5) (AP)

New York Islanders (14-24-7) at Buffalo Sabres (21-20-5) (The Sports Network)

Sabres look for revenge against slumping Isles (NHL.com)

Game notes (NewYorkIslanders.com)

Another injury, another triumph for Sabres

‘"It’s a great win for us against a good team," Vanek said. "We never gave up. We got down twice, and we kept going. We got timely goals, and in the end it was a real good win for us."’

Gragnani just happy to put on a uniform

‘"As long as I get a chance I’m happy. I’m not going to complain," said the 23-year-old, who played his seventh NHL game. "It’s always like the first time you get called up. You’re excited like a little kid."’

Gerbe a big factor in win

‘“I’m kind of a frustrating player to play against, I’m a little pest there,’’ said Gerbe, “so I just tried to get under their skin a little bit. It’s all in fun.”‘

Friday’s Boston Coverage

Bruins come out flat, Sabres roll over them (Boston Globe)

Gerbe a big factor in win (Boston Globe)

Going will get tougher for Seguin (Boston Globe)

All hands not on deck (Boston Herald)

Tuukka Rask at loss (Boston Herald)

Steve Kampfer nose surgery remains option (Boston Herald)

Boston Bruins fall short against Sabres, 4-2 (Quincy Patriot Ledger)

Blake Wheeler making impact in new assignment (Quincy Patriot Ledger)

Rask betrayed again as Bruins muff chances (Worcester Telegram and Gazette)

Defense leads offensive surge (Worcester Telegram and Gazette)

Another flat effort leaves Bruins in dust (ESPN)

Bruins Give Up Pair of Leads, Fall Flat in Clash With Buffalo (NESN)

Andrew Ference Steps Back Into Bruins’ Defense Rotation With No Signs of Rust (NESN)

Bruins blow two leads, fall 4-2 to Sabres (CSN New England)

Campbell scoring while Horton struggles (CSN New England)

Bruins come out flat and never recover (CSN New England)

Inconsistent effort dooms Bruins in loss to Sabres (New England Hockey Journal)

Photo gallery (BostonBruins.com)

Photo gallery (Sabres.com)

Photo gallery (AP)

Miller, Vanek lead Sabres to 4-2 win in Boston

‘Tyler Ennis had two assists and Jason Pominville added a late goal to seal the Sabres’ fifth win in seven games. Buffalo won for the third time in five meetings with Northeast Division rival Boston and improved to 21-20-5 overall.’

Buffalo 4, Boston 2

‘Thomas Vanek notched the winner early in the third period and Ryan Miller stopped 38 shots as Buffalo downed Boston, 4-2, at TD Garden.’

Vanek Powers Sabres 4-2 Win Over Bruins

‘Gregory Campbell gave the B’s a 2-1 lead with an even strength goal just a few minutes later. However Nathan Gerbe’s 3rd goal of the season re-tied the game 2-2 in the period. Gerbe took a cross-ice pass from Tyler Myers and beat a diving Tuukka Rask for the extra man score.’

What is Ryan Miller?

‘He’s neither a journeyman or a playoff star. He’s not either the likes of Hasek, a two-time league MVP. What he is, is a good goalie. At times in his career, like much of last season, among the best. At other times not. In him, the Sabres have a player they can count on to play a lot and generally, by the league standard, at a pretty good level. But not an elite one. In shootouts, like in regulation play, his stats are merely pretty good.’