Niagara Gazette

Pro Sports

March 19, 2008

SABRES NOTEBOOK: Goal taken from Roy; Numminen cleared to play

BUFFALO — It was the 30-30 Club, at least for a bit. It looked like longtime linemates Thomas Vanek and Derek Roy both reached the 30-goal plateau on the same night, as each scored during the third period of Buffalo’s 7-4 come-from-behind thriller at HSBC Arena on Wednesday.

Roy was originally credited with the tying goal, a floater that skipped over the shoulder of Tampa Bay goalie Karri Ramo. It would have marked Roy’s first 30-goal season as a pro. He had 21 in 2006-07 and 18 during his first season with Buffalo.

Vanek later scored two goals, and it looked like he’d finish the game with 30, as well.

But a post-game scoring change gave Vanek credit for Roy’s goal. Roy wasn’t aware of the scoring change when he spoke to the media after the game.

“It’s good that I’ve progressed as a player with people saying I’d never make it. It’s good, but it’s in the back of my mind right now,” he said. “The playoffs are ahead of us and I’m looking forward to that.”

As for Vanek, the big night came on the heels of a huge slump. After being named one of the league’s three stars for February, Vanek had managed just one point in eight March starts. The hat trick was his third of the season

“It’s been a struggle for six months,” Vanek joked when asked if he’s had a rough few weeks. “I’ve been trying to work hard all year long and when they go in it’s nice. But it’s more important that we got the win.”

•••

Teppo Numminen has been cleared to rejoin the team six months after having open heart surgery.

Numminen will practice with the Sabres today after completing a two-day evaluation, the team announced during the second intermission of their game against Tampa Bay on Wednesday night.

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