Niagara Gazette

Pro Sports

March 5, 2008

SABRES: After long delay, chances wiped out

NOTEBOOK

By Tim Schmitt — Tom Petty was right — the waiting is the hardest part.

With the Sabres trailing 3-1 at HSBC Arena against the Washington Capitals and in desperate need of some offense, Buffalo pushed one in the crease that appeared to sneak under goaltender Olaf Kolzig.

Replay officials reviewed the play for more than five minutes, watching as Thomas Vanek and Jason Pominville smacked at the loose puck, and as Kolzig fell back into his net.

After the lengthy review, the play was ruled no goal as officials ruled the play had been whistled dead.

•••

Sabres fans’ inexplicable hatred from Alexander Ovechkin continued Wednesday, and the campaign even picked up steam.

After Ovechkin opened the scoring with a pretty backhand on a breakaway, notching his 53rd of the season, he added an even bigger play on the Caps’ second goal. As Steve Bernier tried to drag the puck out of the Buffalo zone, Ovechkin pulled and spun him, freeing Viktor Kozlov to snatch it.

No penalty was called on the play as Buffalo had just scored a power-play goal seconds earlier.

Kozlov found a wide-open Nicklas Backstrom, who went in alone on Ryan Miller and beat him five-hole with a nifty backhand.

Ovechkin then scored again in the third, beating Miller with a bullet on the glove side.

•••

Jason Pominville kept his league-leading point streak alive, getting an assist on Ales Kotalik’s power play marker in the second period.

Pominville’s assist gave him points in 10 consecutive games.

•••

Probably in an attempt to get the energy flowing early, Lindy Ruff again went to the line of Patrick Kaleta, Adam Mair and Daniel Paille to start the third period.

The trio didn’t register a hit. And they were sent back out there after Ovechkin’s goal made the score 3-1.

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