the Sabres made splashes by acquiring defenseman Robyn Rege

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the Sabres made splashes by acquiring defenseman Robyn Rege

Postby elaine95 » Wed Nov 07, 2018 6:37 am

BUFFALO Authentic Matt Ryan Jersey , N.Y. (AP) Don’t tell Jason Pominville and the Buffalo Sabres they have nothing to play for.For a team all but mathematically out of playoff contention, the Sabres continued making a dent in in the Eastern Conference playoff race with a 5-3 win against their cross-border and Atlantic Division rival Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday.”It’s an easy game to get prepared for,” said Pominville, one of four Sabres to score a goal and assist. ”You know it’s going to be a great atmosphere in our building with the fans they get.”The Sabres silenced the large contingent of ”Go, Leafs, Go!”-chanting fans by building a 2-0 lead within the first four minutes. And after the Maple Leafs tied the game, Buffalo responded by scoring three times and sealed the victory on Johan Larsson’s goal midway through the third period.Ryan O’Reilly, Sam Reinhart and Zemgus Girgensons also scored for Buffalo, while Chad Johnson stopped 38 shots in extending the Maple Leafs’ skid to 0-2-2.Though the Sabres remain at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, they improved to 7-5-2 in their last 14 games. It’s a three-week stretch during which Buffalo has defeated each of the division’s three top teams, including Boston twice.Pominville also showed he hasn’t lost his touch against Toronto.Re-acquired by the Sabres in a trade last summer after a four-plus-season stint in Minnesota, Pominville now has 19 goals and 50 points in 51 career games with Buffalo against Toronto.”Wow,” the former Sabres captain said. ”I should play them more often.”Leo Komarov had two goals and Mitch Marner also scored for Toronto.Frederik Andersen stopped 19 shots in allowing five goals for the second consecutive outing after being yanked midway through a 5-2 loss to Washington in an outdoor game played at the U.S. Naval Academy on Saturday.The only consolation for Andersen this time was he couldn’t be faulted on Buffalo’s first four goals, all of which were set up by fortunate bounces.The Sabres led 2-0 after Reinhart and Pominville deflected in shots from the right point by Rasmus Ristolainen. Girgensons put Buffalo up 3-2 when Reinhart’s shot from a bad angle banked in off his skate.The Sabres received yet another break in going up 4-2 when Toronto defenseman Ron Hainsey’s clearing attempt struck referee Kendrick Nicholson’s skate. The puck caromed directly to O’Reilly, who scored from the right circle.”That was pretty crazy. I think it seemed like everything just hit something and found a way into the net,” Andersen said. ”In the big picture, they earned their bounces.”Leafs coach Mike Babcock couldn’t fault Andersen, though he took issue with the NHL for allowing Larsson’s goal to stand up following a video review for goaltender interference.After stopping Pominville’s one-timer from the left circle, Andersen was knocked off balance from behind by Larsson, who was skating through the crease. Larsson then corralled the rebound and swept it under Andersen.Babcock challenged the call by saying Larsson first collided with Andersen while the two were in the crease.”What they told me is he was interfered with outside the paint, which is not true and that, tonight, was goalie interference no matter what way you look at it,” Babcock said.Toronto has matched its longest skid of the season, which comes after the Leafs enjoyed a 13-2 run.”The bottom line is you’ve got to get it turned around. We can’t continue to lose hockey games,” Babcock said.NOTES: The Sabres continued their home dominance over Toronto, improving to 19-3-1 in their past 23 meetings at Buffalo. … One of the more amusing moments came when television cameras captured an exchange between Ristolainen and Toronto’s Nazem Kadri, after the two were sent to the penalty box for fighting in the second period. Ristolainen held up four fingers in telling Kadri the teams play four more times. Kadri responded by correcting Ristolainen, saying it’s only three more times because Monday’s game didn’t count. … Maple Leafs LW Matt Martin had an assist while playing for the first time since a 4-2 loss to Colorado on Jan. 22. Martin had been a healthy scratch for 18 consecutive games.UP NEXTMaple Leafs: Get four-day break before hosting the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday.Sabres: Host the Calgary Flames on Wednesday.— BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) Former defenseman Mike Weber is all too familiar with the Sabres‘ lean years while spending a majority of his eight NHL seasons in Buffalo.There were high-priced free agents who failed to pan out and one draft-pick bust after another. Weber made the playoffs just twice, with Buffalo eliminated in the first round both times.And then there was the so-called ”tank season” in 2014-15, when Sabres fans openly rooted for the team to finish last for the right to draft either now-Oilers captain, Connor McDavid, or Buffalo’s eventual pick, Jack Eichel.As it happens, Weber also enjoyed a glimpse into what could well be the Sabres’ more promising future following an eight-week stint with Frolunda, Sweden, last fall. Weber had an opportunity to play alongside defenseman Rasmus Dahlin , the highly touted 18-year-old projected to be selected by Buffalo with the No. 1 pick in the NHL draft on Friday night.Perhaps, Weber said, things might finally be looking up in Buffalo.”I really Matt Ryan Jersey Limited , truly believe you guys are going to be getting a once-in-a-lifetime kind of talent,” said Weber, now an assistant coach with Windsor of the Ontario Hockey League.”This first overall pick puts a stamp on it, put whatever happened in the past in the past,” he added. ”Hopefully, it’s something you guys can look back on at the suffering and rebuilding and tanking and all of this stuff where you can sit there and kind of laugh about it.”Though ”suffering” might be overly dramatic, it resonates in Buffalo because that’s the word former general manager Darcy Regier repeated numerous times during an end-of-season news conference in April 2013 where he braced fans for a top-to-bottom roster overhaul.Five years, two GMs, four coaches and three last-place finishes later, the Sabres remain stagnant while in the midst of a franchise-worst seven-year playoff drought.The team has not topped 35 wins in each of the past five years. And forward Ryan O’Reilly closed last season by suggesting a losing culture has crept into the locker room.Dahlin has the potential of injecting hope in Buffalo with his exceptional skating and play-making abilities. Weber compares Dahlin’s speed to that of Senators captain Erik Karlsson, and shiftiness to former Red Wings star forward Pavel Datsyuk.”I still bleed blue and gold,” Weber said, referring to Sabres colors. ”And the possibility of him being a cornerstone going forward and helping the organization and the city win a championship is pretty special.”Hall of Fame coach Scotty Bowman, who maintains a home in suburban Buffalo, can sense the buzz Dahlin has generated.”Buffalo needs a boost, and the fans have been waiting a long time for it,” Bowman said. ”People I know that have had tickets for a long time are excited.”The Sabres have been in freefall since losing Game 7 of the 2007 Eastern Conference finals to eventual champion Carolina. Some of Buffalo’s bleakest moments:BLACK SUNDAYThat’s what Sabres fans refer to July 1, 2007, when Buffalo lost co-captains Chris Drury and Daniel Briere in free agency. Days later, rather than losing yet another star, the Sabres matched the Oilers’ qualifying offer to Thomas Vanek by re-signing the forward to a seven-year, $50 million contract. Buffalo has not won a playoff series since.MONEY FOR NOTHINGIn 2011, the Sabres made splashes by acquiring defenseman Robyn Regehr in a trade with Calgary, and signing defenseman Christian Ehrhoff to a 10-year, $40 million contract and forward Ville Leino to a six-year, $27 million deal. Regehr played just 105 games in Buffalo before being traded to Los Angeles. Leino and Ehrhoff played three seasons before the Sabres bought out their contacts.TRADE WINDSFormer GM Tim Murray’s most significant trade in his rebuilding plan came on Feb. 11, 2015. He dealt defenseman Tyler Myers, forwards Drew Stafford, Joel Armia and Brendan Lemieux and a first-round pick to Winnipeg to acquire forward Evander Kane, defenseman Zach Bogosian and prospect goalie Jason Kasdorf. Kane is now in San Jose. Kasdorf played just one game in Buffalo. Bogosian has combined to miss 108 games due to an assortment of injuries over the past three seasons.POOR DRAFTSOf the 15 players selected by Buffalo in the 2010 and `11 drafts, only four made the NHL and combined to play 144 career games for Buffalo. Of the 23 players Buffalo drafted from 2005-’07, only nine played in the NHL and none topped 400 games.BAD BREAKSAside from losing the NHL draft lottery after finishing last in both 2014 and `15, the Sabres lost out to Toronto in the Mike Babcock coaching sweepstakes in May 2015. The Sabres thought they were closing in on a deal before Babcock announced he was going to take an extra day to reconsider. Babcock signed with Toronto and the Sabres hired Dan Bylsma, who was fired after two seasons.FRANCHISE LOWSIn finishing last in 2013-14, Buffalo scored 150 goals, the fewest in the NHL’s post-expansion era. The following season, the Sabres scored 153 goals and were shut out a franchise-worst 14 times. This past year, the Sabres won 11 home games, matching their fewest in any season.—AP Hockey Writer Larry Lage contributed to this report.—
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