Avs’ fast start does in Sabres

‘The Sabres outshot Colorado, 38-22, but the good bounces and quality chances belonged to the Avs early. Buffalo outshot an opponent for just the seventh time in its 75 games.’

Grigorenko thinks he’s making progress

‘“I think he’s learning,” Roy said. “Some players develop faster than others. I’m sure the expectations are very high for him in Buffalo, but Grigo has a lot of skills, has a lot of hockey sense.”’

Tippett, Nolan living on teachable moments

‘Even short losing streaks can turn the jolliest of coaches into snarling souls. Imagine, then, what Tippett and Buffalo’s Ted Nolan are going through with the two worst teams in the NHL. “It’s just miserable,” Tippett said. “Miserable. You never want to be in this situation.”’

Sunday’s Colorado Coverage

Avalanche handles Buffalo as Matt Duchene has goal and two assists (Denver Post)
Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson “very close” to return (Denver Post)
Photo gallery (Denver Post)
Barrie Nabs 100th Point In 5-3 Victory (ColoradoAvalanche.com)
Photo gallery (ColoradoAvalanche.com)
Photo gallery (Sabres.com)

For Buffalo Sabres, it’s just lose, baby

‘It goes against the integrity of the game, but it’s hard to blame a team for give up a meaningless victory to improve its draft status. And it’s hard to blame fans, such as the ones in Buffalo, for occasionally rooting for their team to lose.’

Hockey’s Next Great One Draws a Crowd

‘Tim Murray, general manager of the Buffalo Sabres, a self-described “glass-half-empty guy” not given to giddy appraisals, said he has not seen a better junior player. “I watch him too much and I think too much about him,” said Murray, who has been scouting teenage N.H.L. prospects for 23 seasons. “I wish I could help myself.”’

Duchene, Iginla have 3 points each as Avs beat Sabres 5-3

‘”Nobody threw in the towel after the second,” Meszaros said. “We picked ourselves up and battled hard, but it wasn’t enough.”‘

Colorado 5, Buffalo 3

‘”You hate to have to play for pride now, but that’s what we have to do,” Meszaros said. “We have to keep playing hard.”‘

Iginla’s big night helps Avalanche hold off Sabres

‘”We didn’t start the way we wanted to and caught us a little flat-footed,” Buffalo coach Ted Nolan said. “They have high-end skill guys on their team. We had a bad line change on the first goal, the second goal we had three guys behind the goal line.”‘

Avs Hold Off Sabres 5-3

‘Lindback stopped 10 out of 12 shots in the opening period, but was replaced by Matt Hackett to start the second. Hackett surrendered goals on the first two shots he faced, upping Colorado’s lead to 4-0. Taking a nice backhand pass from Ryan O’Reilly, Tyson Barrie walked in and lifted the puck over Hackett’s glove for the third goal of the evening. Matt Duchene added his 19th about 90 seconds later, a hard wrist shot from the slot that sailed into the top corner of the net. From that point on, Colorado would manage only eight more shots on Hackett for the rest of the game, leading to a Sabres rally in the third.’

Sabres don’t tend to matchup well against the Avalanche

‘”We just didn’t start the way we wanted to and they caught us a little bit flat-footed,” said Nolan. “They got some high-end skill guys on their team…but we found a way to fight back towards the latter part of the game.”‘

Avalanche build big lead, hold on to defeat Sabres

‘The Sabres made a game of it in the third period.’

Rally in 3rd can’t push Sabres past Avalanche

‘“We just weren’t to play in the first period and a good team like Colorado, they get those goals with those mistakes,” Ristolainen said. “We had a good 20 minutes. Hopefully we can take that one and be better in Arizona.”’

Sunday’s Rochester Coverage

Amerks defeat Syracuse to win second straight (Rochester Democrat and Chronicle)
Woof! Syracuse Crunch drops dog of a game to Rochester Amerks, 2-0 (Syracuse Post Standard)
Makarov, Amerks blank Crunch (Amerks.com)
Amerks even season series with 2-0 win over Crunch (SyracuseCrunch.com)

Sabres find tank talk wearing

‘“It’s just one of those things,” coach Ted Nolan said after his team’s optional practice on Friday. “People marked that on their calendars as a special thing, and I’m not too sure how special it is to battle for where we are in the standings. I think when you’re battling for first place, that’s when your team and fans should get really excited. Not about a draft lottery.”‘