Fast start by Sabres leads to joyful finish

‘”We wanted to come out after the break here and really get things going, play the way that we really know we can,” defenseman Robyn Regehr said. “We’re getting some guys back. It’s time to get going. We’ve dropped in the standings enough. We’re playing teams that are ahead of us, and you’ve got to win.”‘

Slump takes Stafford’s breath away

‘”When things aren’t going well, the net does get a little smaller,” Stafford said. “The goalie gets a little bigger. Goalies are bigger, anyway. But it’s definitely like that. That’s part of the mental challenge.”‘

McNabb joins list of first-time scorers

‘”I first thought maybe [Luke Adam] touched it but it went in and I’m extremely happy,” said McNabb, sporting the team’s gold helmet awarded in the locker room for strong play. “It took a little to get it but I’m excited. It’s good to get that first point here and to get the ball rolling.”‘

Tuesday’s Washington Coverage

Capitals give up four goals in first period, lose to Sabres (Washington Post)
Caps pull a no-show in 4-2 loss to Buffalo (Washington Times)
Hamrlik’s penalty sets wrong tone for Capitals (Washington Times)
Caps Postgame – 4-2 loss at Buffalo (Washington Examiner)
Capitals C Perreault taken to hospital (AP)
If you’re not first, you’re last (CSN Washington)
Postgame notebook (WashingtonCaps.com)
Photo gallery (WashingtonCaps.com)
Photo gallery (Sabres.com)
Photo gallery (AP)
Photo gallery (WGRZ-TV)

Sabres score 4 in first, beat Capitals 4-2

‘“We got everybody going early, we got the fans into it, and we got the bench going,” Pominville said of the early spurt. “You always want to get that first goal, and for us to get it that early was huge for the team. To generate more chances and score more goals after that was big. We limited their chances, and probably could have put a few more away.”’

Buffalo 4, Washington 2

‘Jason Pominville, Matt Ellis and Brayden McNabb lit the lamp, while Ryan Miller made 20 saves in the victory for the Sabres, who snapped their three-game skid.’

Sabres Use Hot Start to Beat Caps 4-2

‘Christian Ehrhoff made it a 3-0 game with his 3rd of the season, sending Neuvirth to the bench having allowed 3 goals on only 6 shots. His replacement, Tomas Vokoun, was no better, at least initially. Just 3 minutes after entering the game, Vokoun allowed a goal to McNabb, his first career goal, to put Buffalo ahead 4-0 in the opening period. A pretty play by Brad Boyes, playing in his first game in over a month, got the puck to McNabb who fired a shot toward the net. Luke Adam, screening Vokoun, appeared to get a piece of the puck, but credit was given to the Sabres’ rookie defenseman.’

Cele-Brayden Time!

‘“Obviously, it changed the game because when you take advantage of an early power play — we’ve seen where we haven’t and momentum can go the other way — but I thought we did a nice job early on in the game,” said Lindy Ruff. “We should have had a lot more. I think we hit like four posts, we missed an empty net, missed a breakaway. And then (Boyes) missing the one in the third, that’s the ones you shake your head at.”’

Tuesday’s Rochester Coverage

Rochester Amerks hope to regain momentum on road trip (Rochester D&C)
Oklahoma City hosts historic Rochester Americans (Oklahoma City Oklahoman)
Amerks back in action for two games at Oklahoma City (Amerks.com)
Barons game notes – December 27 (OKCBarons.com)

Sabres have familiar mountain to climb

‘”Obviously, we’re disappointed,” said coach Lindy Ruff. “Injuries aside, you’ve still got to scrape some wins together.”‘

Monday’s Washington Coverage

Caps-Sabres preview (CSN Washington)
Washington Capitals (17-14-2) at Buffalo Sabres (16-15-3) (The Sports Network)
Washington (17-14-2) at Buffalo (16-15-3) (AP)
Sabres hope to end skid against Caps (NHL.com)
Caps Shuffle Off to Buffalo (WashingtonCaps.com)

Sabres’ Leopold spreads smiles

‘”You can see the parents light up when we come in the room, say hello and spend five minutes talking,” Leopold said. “Sometimes when you’re in the hospital, all you want is an ear. To go in there and listen to somebody if they want to talk about their hard times or what they’re going through, it’s interesting for us, and we’re there also as a heartfelt extension of their family because you don’t ever want to see people going through that.”‘

What more could Whitmore want for Christmas?

‘“Every year he finds a way to score 20-plus goals,” Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. “(Americans coach) Ron (Rolston) has spoken highly of him, just said he finds a way to score key goals at key opportunities. I think that’s how he’s gotten himself on the radar. The year before, same thing, he was able to score a lot of key goals for Portland.”’

Return of Myers not far off

‘”I know I’m close [to returning],” Myers said after skating with the team for an hour Friday morning in First Niagara Center. “It’s just a matter of getting where I need to be before I jump in.”‘

That’s life on the Sabres’ farm

‘”It’s crazy,” Rolston said this week. “Sometimes you think you’re more of a travel coordinator, just trying to make things work and get guys in.”‘