Niagara Gazette

Pro Sports

March 2, 2008

SABRES NOTES: Kaleta gets second goal of season, career

BUFFALO — Home-grown product Patrick Kaleta has handed out his share of hits this season and Sunday he added three more during Buffalo’s 4-2 loss against Detroit at HSBC Arena.

But Kaleta also got on the scoresheet for another reason, beating Dominik Hasek for his second goal of the season and his career.

The St. Francis product was trailing a two-on-one and Maxim Afinogenov tried to pass across to Adam Mair. The puck caught Detroit defenseman Andreas Lilja and bounced directly to Kaleta, who beat Hasek.

“I didn’t even see it,” Hasek said after. “Somebody was in front of me or something. I didn’t see anything.”

•••

Apparently, Sabres fans have short memories when it comes to Hasek’s swashbuckling style.

In the waning seconds of the first period, Derek Roy made a great play, flipping a one-handed pass to Daniel Paille, who was breaking in alone on Hasek. Paille had trouble corralling the puck and while he played with it in his skates, Hasek cannonballed himself into the Buffalo winger, hitting the puck before knocking Paille down. The play was perfectly legal, and was a staple of the six-time Vezina Trophy winner’s tenure in Buffalo.

The fans at HSBC Arena booed heartily, however, then booed some more when the period ended seconds later.

•••

With his team struggling to generate much offense, Lindy Ruff toyed with the line combinations through the second half of Sunday’s game. In the third period, he started with recently acquired Steve Bernier on a line with Ales Kotalik and Paul Gaustad.

Ruff moved Maxim Afinogenov back to a familiar spot with Derek Roy and Thomas Vanek. The latter spent much of last season together, but couldn’t muster any offense in the loss.

•••

So much for having the league’s best penalty killing unit at home. Buffalo entered the five-game homestand with that distinction, but promptly gave up seven goals during the stretch. On Sunday, it was Valterri Filppula’s turn as he redirected a nifty pass from Jiri Hudler in the second period to give the Red Wings a 2-1 lead.

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