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12-29-2003, 11:54 AM
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Takeo
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Gameday: Sabres at Canes 12/29

VENUE: RBC Center

GAME: Buffalo Sabres (14-18-3-1) at Carolina Hurricanes (11-14-8-2).

TIME: Monday, 7 p.m. EST.

If there is ever going to be a time for the Buffalo Sabres to make up ground, it's now. The Sabres hope to continue taking advantage of a very favorable schedule when they face the Carolina Hurricanes for the second time in five days. After visiting Carolina, the Sabres host the struggling Capitals again on Wednesday before facing Anaheim - another last-place team - on Friday.

A 3-1 victory over Carolina on Friday ended Buffalo's season-high, eight-game winless streak, which included seven straight losses. Saturday's 3-1 win over last-place Washington gave the Sabres back-to-back victories for the first time since Nov. 26-28.

Satan figured in all three scores Saturday with a goal and two assists, and Mika Noronen stopped 21 shots as Buffalo won despite missing top forwards J.P. Dumont and Chris Drury.

"The thing that's most impressive was that we had a couple of key players out of the lineup, two of your top three in the points department," Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff said. "The guys stuck with it, played hard and got rewarded."

Dumont is expected to miss at least a week after injuring his hip in Friday's win. Drury could return Monday after missing four games with a separated shoulder.

Noronen is making a strong case for more playing time. He is 2-0-1 in his last three starts, allowing just four goals.

Sean Hill's second power-play goal of the game 39 seconds into overtime lifted the Hurricanes to a 2-1 victory over Montreal on Saturday. Carolina had been scoreless on its last 26 power plays, including 18 in a row under new coach Peter Laviolette.

The Hurricanes are 3-2 since Laviolette replaced Paul Maurice, with each win coming by a 2-1 score. Laviolette changed up his lines and defensive pairings Saturday in an effort to improve the league's worst offense, but Carolina was held to two goals or fewer for the 27th time in 35 games.


STANDINGS (through Dec. 27): Sabres - 32 points, 5th place, 19 PB, Northeast Division. Hurricanes - 32 points, 4th place, 10 PB, Southeast Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Sabres - Dumont and Daniel Briere, 11 goals and 25 points; Dumont, Briere and Drury, 14 assists; Andrew Peters, 76 PIM. Hurricanes - Josef Vasicek, 9 goals; Jeff O'Neill, 15 assists and 19 points; Jesse Boulerice, 72 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Dec. 27): Sabres - Power play: 12.4 percent (18 for 145), 27th in NHL. Penalty killing: 85.2 percent (138 for 162), 13th. Hurricanes - Power play: 11.5 percent (18 for 156), 28th. Penalty killing: 84.3 percent (118 for 140), 17th.

GOALTENDERS: Sabres - Martin Biron (6-8-2, 0 SO, 2.87 GAA); Noronen (8-8-1, 2, 2.05). Hurricanes - Kevin Weekes (11-12-6, 4, 1.99); Jamie Storr (0-4-2, 3.00).

SEASON SERIES: Sabres, 2-0.

LAST MEETING: Friday; Sabres, 3-1. At Buffalo, N.Y., Noronen made 30 saves and Ales Kotalik, Taylor Pyatt and Chris Taylor scored third-period goals to lead the Sabres.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Sabres - 7-10-1-0 on the road; Hurricanes - 7-4-5-1 at home.

BUFFALO ROSTER:

Skaters
Player G A PTS +/- PIM

Briere 11 14 25 -1 38
Dumont 11 14 25 -1 16
Drury 5 14 19 -1 28
Satan 10 8 18 -13 14
Pyatt 8 7 15 1 7
Brown 4 9 13 -1 22
Zhitnik 1 12 13 -9 57
Kalinin 4 8 12 -3 17
Kotalik 9 3 12 -9 29
Afinogenov 5 5 10 3 28
Hecht 3 7 10 8 16
Mair 2 8 10 -3 56
Taylor 3 4 7 -4 6
Patrick 2 4 6 4 8
Fitzpatrick 0 3 3 -6 19
Campbell 0 2 2 -6 2
Biron 0 1 1 0 4
Boulton 0 1 1 -2 31
Delmore 0 1 1 -2 23
Roy 1 0 1 -1 0
Tallinder 0 1 1 1 10
Botterill 0 0 0 -1 14
McKee 0 0 0 -1 25
Miller 0 0 0 0 0
Noronen 0 0 0 0 0
Peters 0 0 0 -5 76
Pittis 0 0 0 -1 4
Pominville 0 0 0 0 0

Goalies
Player W-L-T GAA SV%

Noronen 8-8-1 2.05 .923
Biron 6-8-2 2.87 .895
Miller 0-3-0 5.06 .795

CAROLINA ROSTER:

Skaters
Player G A PTS +/- PIM

O'Neill 4 15 19 -5 36
Cole 5 12 17 1 48
Staal 7 9 16 1 20
Vasicek 9 7 16 -6 26
Brind'Amour 3 10 13 -4 12
Vrbata 8 5 13 -5 12
Francis 5 7 12 -10 6
Hill 3 7 10 -3 22
Markov 3 7 10 -2 19
Hedican 1 8 9 3 20
Murray 4 4 8 5 0
Adams 3 3 6 -4 33
Wesley 0 5 5 2 4
Adams 2 2 4 1 19
Bayda 2 1 3 -5 8
Boulerice 2 1 3 -1 72
Wallin 3 0 3 -3 35
Boughner 0 2 2 -4 39
Jacques 0 1 1 -6 6
Ward 0 1 1 -7 25
Rourke 0 0 0 0 0
Storr 0 0 0 0 0
Svoboda 0 0 0 -2 0
Tetarenko 0 0 0 0 0
Weekes 0 0 0 0 4

Goalies
Player W-L-T GAA SV%

Weekes 11-12-6 1.99 .923
Storr 0-4-2 3.00 .878

http://www.sportsline.com/nhl/gamece...031229_BUF@CAR

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