'With just 52 seconds ticked off of the clock in the third period, Dave Andreychuk took the face off deep in the Buffalo zone. Andreychuk won the draw by pushing the puck forward around Daniel Briere and then making a quick pass back into the slot to Tim Taylor. Taylor then ripped the puck past Noronen for his seventh goal of the season and the eventual game winner. After the game Andreychuk admitted that it was a designed play.'
Archives for March 19, 2004
'"We need help, but all we can do is play as well as we can," Sabres defenseman James Patrick said. "We believe the playoffs are definitely still available."'
'“We've tried that play a couple of times this season,'' Taylor said. “Dave has this play where he taps his head just before he goes into the faceoff, and Briere had been beaten a lot of times by Dave on that side so [Briere] was really bearing down trying to win the draw. … All of a sudden after we yelled at [Sarich] all their players moved out because they thought [Sarich] was going to get the puck, and that left me alone with with basically a wide-open net.'''
'St. Louis' empty-net goal with 10.3 seconds left not only capped the Lightning's 3-1 win over the Sabres, but it was his team-high 35th of the season and 86th point, tying Bradley's mark.'
'The Sabres controlled most of the first period, but as the period came to a close, Lightning C Tim Taylor made sure the Sabres realized they were in for a tussle. Taylor and Buffalo's Jean-Pierre Dumont scrapped briefly, then Taylor and Maxim Afinogenov went at it behind the Sabres goal as the period expired.'
'But the game really was won against a team fighting for its playoff life with tough, physical encounters in the corners and along the boards, and with elbows and fists and great determination. "They were trying to play a physical game," said Stillman, whose 24th goal tied last season's total. "Maybe that's the way teams are going to play us. We have to match it, and I think we did."'
'The one blip was Jochen Hecht's tip-in goal that tied the score at 1 with 3:58 left in the second period, 55 seconds after Tampa Bay took the lead. Rather than dwell on the play, Khabibulin stood tall and made 12 saves in the third period. The best came on Mike Grier's blast from the right-wing boards to preserve a 2-1 lead.'
'With three wins (3-5-1-2) in their last 11, the Islanders have given the Sabres every opportunity to catch up in the playoff race, just as they did last year with the Rangers when they accumulated six wins in their final 22 games of the season.'
'The Sabres are four points behind the New York Islanders for the eighth and final Eastern Conference playoff berth. Buffalo has played one more game than the Islanders. “Obviously with eight games left, we've got to win six of them to make the playoffs,'' Buffalo defenseman James Patrick said. “All we can do is control our effort.'''
'"I think we are a confident group," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. "We can win six of the next eight whatever we need to win. The team we are chasing isn't going to win every game, either. If we play like that, we have a chance to win every game we play."'