GDT#68: SABRES (31-28-8) at BRUINS (39-23-3) – THU MAR 8 – 7:00PM ET – MSG-B, NESN (Full Story)
(AP) – The Northeast Division-leading Boston Bruins seem destined for the playoffs. The Buffalo Sabres are acting -
and playing - like they're already competing in them.
With the importance of each game growing for the Sabres, they look to continue their impressive turnaround and beat
the Bruins for a third consecutive time Thursday night.
Barring a collapse in its final 17 games, Boston (39-23-3) appears on its way to the postseason with an 11-point lead
on the ninth-place tie between Buffalo (31-28-8) and Washington.
The Sabres, however, have moved within two points of Winnipeg for the eighth and final playoff position in the Eastern
Conference behind a 12-4-3 stretch. That's a dramatic change for a team that was considered one of the biggest flops
of the season.
"This is our playoffs," coach Lindy Ruff said. "We've put ourselves on a nice run, but it's one game at a time and being
ready to pick up the two points and move on to the next game."
Late season surges are familiar to Buffalo, which closed out last season 16-4-4 to earn a playoff spot on the final
The Sabres' turnaround continued Wednesday with a 3-2 overtime victory over visiting Carolina on Jason Pominville's
goal 56 seconds into the extra period.
(Buffalo News) – Lindy Ruff has been patient with his power-play unit. The coach has remained calm despite the
Sabres' inability to score. Ruff finally had enough Wednesday, lighting into his players after an early struggle.
Based on the results, maybe he should have started getting angry weeks ago.
Buffalo's power play struck twice in one game for the first time in 2012, and the second one sent the First Niagara
Center crowd into a frenzy. Jason Pominville ripped a slap shot past Carolina goaltender Cam Ward with 56 seconds
gone in overtime, giving Buffalo a 3-2 victory.
"Our power play wanted to generate more opportunities," Pominville said. "It's something we talked about before the
game and something we weren't doing a good enough job at."
The Sabres improved to 7-1-2 in their last 10 games. They will try to extend their run tonight when they visit the
Boston Bruins in TD Garden. The victory over Carolina was a solid bounceback from a team that was down after losing
its eighth-place showdown with Winnipeg on Monday.
"You've got to put it behind you," defenseman Christian Ehrhoff said. "Obviously, that was a big game for us, and we
would've liked to go out of there with a win. But they were better that night, and we just said we've got to keep on
going and keep our confidence level up."
The power-play unit should face Boston feeling good. The Sabres opened overtime with 1:06 of carry-over power-play
time. Pominville made it count, burying Ehrhoff's cross-ice pass to give Buffalo a 2-for-7 night.
SABRES' FIRST LINE REWARDS RUFF'S PATIENCE (Full Story)
(Buffalo News) – There was plenty of chatter that Lindy the Line Shuffler would strike again Wednesday night but
Buffalo Sabres coach Lindy Ruff got rewarded for maintaining the status quo with his top offensive trio for the 3-2
overtime win against Carolina.
Derek Roy stayed between Thomas Vanek and Jason Pominville -- even though that trio had no points and was a
combined minus-12 over the previous three games. Vanek and Pominville both had two points and collected power-
play goals, with Pominville blasting home the OT winner.
"We spent hours changing lines and putting different numbers together," Ruff said. "I liked what some of the other
lines have done and decided to just let them battle through."
Vanek, in particular, has been a major conundrum. He entered the game with 22 goals on the season -- but only four
since the calendar hit 2012. Reporters came at him with plenty of questions Wednesday morning about whether he's
still dealing with lingering shoulder problems and he said all is well.
He proved it in the game, netting No. 23 on the power play and coming close a couple of other times. Vanek's nine
shots on goal tied his career high set in the season opener against Anaheim in Helsinki, which is also the season high
for a Buffalo player. He had nine in the last four games combined.
(Boston Globe) – Marty Turco had plans to go on an Italian vacation to Venice, Florence, and Rome with his wife and
daughters once his EC Red Bull Salzburg hockey club was eliminated from the playoffs in the Austrian First Division.
But those plans were put on hold when Turco, a 36-year-old goaltender with 10 NHL seasons on his résumé, received
an urgent call from Bruins general Peter Chiarelli after Tuukka Rask was lost for 4-6 weeks with a lower abdomen/groin
And so it was Wednesday afternoon, after enduring a nine-hour flight Tuesday to Toronto to join the Bruins for their 5-4
victory over the Maple Leafs, that Turco found himself on the ice at Ristuccia Arena for his first practice with his new
"Today was good, actually," said Turco, who was signed to a one-year contract Monday and cleared waivers
Because he was acquired after the NHL trading deadline, Turco will not be eligible to compete in the playoffs.
"I was a little bit apprehensive - not that I’ve done it too often, coming off a long travel day from Europe," Turco said.
"But it was good to be back on the ice, in some bright lights, facing some NHL players, never mind the Boston Bruins."
Cody McCormick (concussion) and Andrej Sekera (flu) were scratched in Buffalo's last game, a 3-2 overtime win over
Carolina on Wednesday. Jochen Hecht (concussion) also missed Wednesday's game and remains on IR with his injury.
Buffalo has yet to confirm if Ryan Miller or Jhonas Enroth will get the start in goal in Boston.
Buffalo recalled Marcus Foligno from AHL/Rochester on Saturday and returned him Sunday. Buffalo recalled Foligno
again Monday and returned him to Rochester yet again on Tuesday.
According to the Stats
Buffalo are: 26-3-2 when allowing two or fewer goals; 22-4-3 when scoring three or more; 18-4-5 when Derek Roy
records a point; 17-4-1 when Christian Ehrhoff records a point; 9-1-3 when Tyler Ennis records a point; 9-4-4 against
the Northeast Division; and 7-1-2 in their last ten games.
Ryan Miller is 7-1-1 in his last nine games with a .949 save percentage and a 1.65 goals against average, and 12-3-3
in his last 18 games with a 1.84 goals against average and a .939 save percentage.
Above, LW4 is #64 Lane MacDermid and G2 is #1 Marty Turco. Andrew Ference (lower body), Mike Mottau (healthy),
Daniel Paille (upper body), Rich Peverley (MCL) and Tuuka Rask (groin) were scratched in Boston's last game, a 5-4 win in Toronto on Tuesday. Nathan Horton (concussion) and Marc Savard (concussion) also missed Tuesday's game
and continue to remain on the team's IR list. Ference, Paille and Pouliot are day-to-day with injuries. Boston will start
Tim Thomas in goal tonight against Buffalo.
Michael Hutchinson and Lane MacDermid were recalled from AHL/Providence last Saturday. Marty Turco was signed
Monday, cleared waivers and joined Boston for practice on Thursday. Later Thursday, Hutchinson was returned to
AHL/Providence, while Max Sauve was emergency recalled to Boston to cover for the newly injured Benoit Pouliot.
According to the Stats
Boston are: 30-0-0 in games in which they have a two-goal lead at any point; 35-4-0 when they score three-or-more
goals in a game; 17-2-0 in three-or-more goal decisions; 23-5-1 in games in which they score a power play goal; and
4-5-1 in their last ten games.