Niagara Gazette

Pro Sports

April 5, 2007

SABRES NOTEBOOK: Afinogenov back in action, finished with assist

BUFFALO — After missing 21 games with a broken left wrist, Maxim Afinogenov returned to the lineup Thursday in the Sabres regular season home finale, a 4-2 victory over the Boston Bruins.

The speedy winger’s first shift wasn’t a memorable one, though. He came on to a rousing ovation with 16:22 left in the first period, teaming with Daniel Briere during a 4-on-4 situation.

Just 23 seconds in, however, Boston’s Andrew Ference scored the game’s opening goal, following up on a Phil Kessel shot.

But Afinogenov still found a way to wow the home crowd. He nearly cashed one in later in the period, then put a nifty move on in the second that Hannu Toivenen got a toe on. He added a great chance in the period’s final minute when he ripped a blast off a feed from Derek Roy.

On the night, Lindy Ruff used Afinogenov with a host of linemates, including Roy and Thomas Vanek, whom he paired with earlier this season.

Afinogenov finished with 14:27 of playing time, and assisted on Derek Roy’s goal.

•••

As if home fans needed it, the Sabres sent home fans a pre-playoff reminder on Thursday — a two-goal deficit is not insurmountable. Buffalo got behind 2-0 in the first 14:01, but responded with two goals in the next four and a half minutes.

It’s nothing new, Buffalo has won nine games in which it trailed by two goals this season.

And speaking of the fans, Thursday’s crowd made it official — the Sabres sold out all 41 home dates. The crowd also saluted the Sabres with a standing ovation through the final seconds of the third period.

The team responded in turn, coming to center ice and waving their sticks after the final horn sounded.

•••

You don’t hear it often, but Ales Kotalik was penalized in the second period for playing with a broken stick. Kotalik’s stick was knocked from him during a power play, then he played the puck after knocking a small piece of the stick into the neutral zone. He retreated on defense and was called a minute later.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Pro Sports
Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page