Niagara Gazette

Pro Sports

January 26, 2010

SABRES: Buffalo comes home on four-game skid

After earning just a single point in the last four games of a seven-game road trip, the Sabres return to HSBC Arena tonight for their first home action in nearly three weeks.

Unfortunately, a meeting with Atlantic Division-leading New Jersey won’t make for a cushy return.

Even with the losing skid, the Sabres still held a seven-point edge over second-place Ottawa prior to Tuesday’s action.

But goalie Ryan Miller, who appeared in all seven road games, was unhappy with the way his team recognized important players during Monday’s 3-2 loss to Vancouver.

“They have certain players on the ice we identified as key players, which is pretty obvious to everyone, and we gave them too much time and space and let them make a difference,” he told the Vancouver Province. “We let a game go by not paying close enough attention to them.”

The Sabres were also expressing plenty of emotion on their bench after a tying short-handed goal was called back late in the second period. After Ryan Kesler’s power-play shot hit off the crossbar, Buffalo broke out on an odd-man rush and Craig Rivet’s shot went in off the hand of defenseman Christian Ehrhoff.

But referee Kerry Fraser called Buffalo forward Paul Gaustad for cross-checking Ehrhoff into the net instead, giving the Canucks a 5-on-3 advantage.

Miller made a couple of good stops before the period ended, and Kesler’s elbowing penalty ended the advantage early in the third, and Thomas Vanek tied it on the ensuing power play.

But that didn’t change Sabres coach Lindy Ruff’s opinion of the call.

“I don’t like it obviously, said Ruff, who was screaming at the officials after the call. “If you’re going to call that you better call about 75 crosschecks in the game around the front of the net.”

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