'"Big deal. Wow," Ruff said about the Sabres' play in the final 40 minutes. "I don't care how well we played in the second and third. You play like that, you deserve what you get."'
Archives for January 7, 2004
'Ok, so the Sabres found something, somewhere to turn what appeared certain into a romp in the first period into something approaching a cliffhanger in the second and third periods. Alexei Zhitnik, for example, finally solved José Theodore four minutes into the final period, after the Sabres outshot the Canadiens 15-5 in the second, but this one wasn't nearly as close as the score indicated – a game that ended with Mike Ribeiro scoring into an empty net with 35 seconds left.'
'Every time one of the Sabres managed to hook up with the puck in the offensive zone, he found himself surrounded like the last DVD player in Future Shop on Boxing Day. And when the Sabres did manage a flurry of shots late in the first period – well, that is José Theodore waiting in goal. The late flurry made things look better for the Sabres than they were, with the Canadiens leading in shots 20-9.'
'And Buffalo's Taylor Pyatt had a game he'd rather forget. He left the game in the first period with a leg injury. He played only four shifts, but was on the ice for both of the Canadiens' first-period goals.'
'"That's the worst period of hockey we've played this season," fumed Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff. "I don't care how we played in the second and third. When you play like that, you deserve what you get. That was an embarrassing period of hockey."'
' The Sabres swamped the Canadiens in a one-sided second that was salvaged only by Theodore, who held his ground despite being out-shot 15-5 during the period. Though his team rebounded somewhat in the third to trade shots with Buffalo, the visitors managed several hair-raising scoring chances which included a shorthanded breakaway by Jochen Hecht that Theodore dutifully kicked aside.'
'“We had one of our best first periods, but a team like Buffalo, they've got a lot of character and they've always been known around the league to be a hardworking team,'' Theodore said. “We knew they were going to come out strong in the second and that's what they did.'''
'"Strange game out there tonight," Sabres center Curtis Brown said. "First period, all Canadiens. Then I think we took over. … We generated some chances in the second and third periods, but we can't afford to spot Montreal two goals like that, especially the way Theodore has been playing."'
'There were several other chances for the Sabres to get back to even up the score in the third period. The best coming when Jochen Hecht was able to get a short handed break-away but was denied by the right pad leg of Theodore. Montreal added an empty net goal with under a minute to play by Mike Ribiero for a 3-1 win.'
‘The 8-game winless streak of the Buffalo Sabres ended the day after Christmas with a 3-1 win over Carolina, and since then three wins have followed, giving the Sabres four wins in six games, and just one loss in their last seven.’