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About the Sabres - 03-02-10

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

A preview of the Sabres.

When and where: 7:30 p.m., Mellon Arena.

TV: FSN Pittsburgh, MSG-Buffalo.

Record: 33-18-9, 76 points. The Sabres are in fifth place in the Eastern Conference and second place in the Northeast Division with 75 points, one fewer than the Penguins.

Leading Scorer: Tim Connolly, 55 points (14 goals, 41 assists).

Last Game: 3-1 home win against the Sharks, Feb. 13. Ryan Miller made 27 saves for the Sabres

Last Game against the Penguins: 5-4 road loss, Feb. 1. If you can imagine such a thing, Sidney Crosby had a hat trick against Miler.

Sabres Player We Would Bet Money On Scoring: Drew Stafford (right). He has four points (two goals, two assists) in three games against the Penguins this season.

Ex-Penguins on the Sabres: Patrick Lalime, G.

Ex-Sabres on the Penguins: Jason Botterill, assistant general manager; Bob Errey, broadcaster; Jay McKee, D.

Useless Sabres Trivia Vaguely Related to the Penguins: Ryan Miller is one of two former Sabres goaltenders who have earned a silver medal with the United States Olympic hockey team. The other is former Penguins goaltender Tom Barrasso in 2002.

Best Sabres YouTube Video We Could Find: In honor of Miller's recent efforts in the Olympics, "Ye mamma, how sho, yang shong kay lay":

Notes:

-Marc-Andre Fleury (29-16-4, 2.65 GAA, .908 SV%) and Patrick Lalime (3-3-2, 3.21 GAA, .896 SV%) are your expected starters in net.

-For the Penguins, Forward Eric Godard (groin) is out indefinitely. Forward Ruslan Fedotenko (undisclosed), Maxime Talbot (groin) and defenseman Mark Eaton (undisclosed) are questionable. All three practiced yesterday.

-For the Sabres, Ryan Miller's beard is starting to get itchy. In all seriousness, the Sabres are reporting no injuries.

-Welcome back Sidney Crosby and Brooks Orpik.

-Welcome Jordan Leopold.

-Ray Shero suggested Fedotenko and Talbot could produce more points this season (PG+).

-Lalime (right) is 1-0-1 with a 0.58 goals against average and .980 save percentage against the Penguins this season. Fire Craig Patrick.

-"[Pittsburgh] has a lot of Olympians on their team too… hopefully they celebrate a little too much." - Sabres forward Jochen Hecht joking on the Penguins' Olympians.

-Sabres defenseman Toni Lydman understands he might be traded by Wednesday.

-Rant: We've been told the Penguins will honor Olympians on both teams tonight. Please do Pittsburgh a favor and applaud everyone. Not just Sidney Crosby or Brooks Orpik. But Ryan Miller and Lydman and any of the other Sabres should they be acknowledged. They gave you two weeks of amazing hockey. Don't cheer them because they're Americans or Canadians. Cheer them because they're hockey players.

-"I’m not going to be surprised when they give a standing O to Sid. And I’m not going to be surprised when they give a standing O to Brooks Orpik. And I would almost expect them to give one to Ryan Miller. I would if I was an American fan in the stands tomorrow night. You cheer for Ryan Miller and you hopefully score on him." - Dan Bylsma.

-Assuming they don't meet the Penguins in the postseason, this will be the Sabres' final game in Civic/Mellon Arena. Including postseason games, they have an all-time record of 24-41-19 in the arena.

-The Sabres' first game in Civic/Mellon Arena was also their first game. Ever. The expansion Sabres made their NHL debut with a surprising 2-1 road win against the Penguins who were fresh off their first playoff appearance in franchise history the previous season. A then home-opening record crowd of 11,189 souls saw future Hockey Hall-of-Famer Gilbert Perreault (right), the first overall pick in that year's draft, make his NHL debut. Prior to the game, Sabres coach Punch Imlach promised of the 19-year-old Perreault, "If we can get him jacked up for that game tonight, he'll put on a show like they never saw before."

-Following a scoreless first period, the Sabres struck first in the second when former Pittsburgh Hornets defenseman Jim Watson scored at the 5:01 mark on an assist from Kevin O'Shea. The Penguins tied it up at 8:09 when Wally Boyer bscored on a backhander off an assist from Duane Rupp. The Sabres took the lead for good in the third when an apparently "jacked up" Perreault scored his first career NHL goal with assists from O'Shea and Gerry Meehan at 11:26. Perrault's goal was a bit of a fluke as he smacked a slap shot off the boards which deflected off the back of Penguins goaltender Les Binkley and into the net.

-Former Pittsburgh Hornets goaltender Roger Crozier got the win by making 36 saves. Binkley took the loss making 20 saves.

-Our live blog begins at approximately 6:30 p.m. Please tune in.

(Photo: Stafford-Christian Petersen/Getty Images; Lalime-Al Bello/Getty Images; Perreault-eBay)

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