Mika Noronen was put into the pressure cooker. With Sabres No. 1 goalie Martin Biron being given a well deserved rest, Noronen was thrust into the starting goalie position in Philadelphia, of all places. Not too often does a callup from the AHL get to play in front of the rabid Flyer fans against the conference leading team. That was Noronen's plight Thursday night and he came away with flying colors. By winning, the Sabres posted their first regular season win in the First Union Center since March 15, 1997.
Archives for March 15, 2002
'Pavel Bure's not on fire, but the trade rumors surrounding him are.'
'This is the third of four meetings with Florida, having split the first two. Buffalo is 8-8 all-time vs. the Panthers in Florida and 20-12-2 overall.'
'"Too much squeezin' the stick," Roenick said. "We're making goaltenders look good."'
'"There are some teams that play better against other teams. It's the systems matchup and the confidence factor. Buffalo matches up very well against us and I think in their minds they enjoy playing against us."'
'The Flyers are winless in their last three games and have scored a total of three goals against goalies who would need ID's to get into most NHL buildings (Noronen and Corey Schwab of the Maple Leafs).'
'"Being naive is a thing of beauty," Sabres defenseman James Patrick said. "Maybe he didn't have time to understand the intensity of playing in this building at this time of year. There were times when he dominated."'
'And just when you thought Buffalo was out of the postseason picture this season, the Sabres began a charge from their 11th-place position.'
'The Flyers outshot Buffalo, 32-23, and dominated play through large portions of the game. But Miroslav Satan scored two goals, one on Buffalo's second of three power plays, and Taylor Pyatt added insurance with an empty-net goal.'
'Don't look now, but this was the fourth victory in five games for the Sabres (28-29-8-1, 65 points), who have licked the Flyers twice in two meetings this season, and have two more cracks at them in another couple of weeks.'