Niagara Gazette

Pro Sports

November 22, 2008

SABRES NOTEBOOK: Mancari nets first goal in 2-1 loss

BUFFALO — Missing a wide-open net last season in Ottawa has haunted Mark Mancari, but he finally exorcised that demon Saturday night.

In his second game since being called up from AHL Portland, Mancari scored his first NHL goal in the first period of a 4-2 loss to the New York Islanders at HSBC Arena.

Mancari had earlier hit the post, a night after doing the same in a loss to Philadelphia. With seven shots on goal against the Islanders, Mancari led the team in that department by a wide margin.

“I’m happy with my play, but I’d rather that take goal back and win a game. That’s what’s important right now,” he said.

Sabres coach Lindy Ruff also complemented Mancari’s play.

“I thought he played well in the game. It’s tough, you get your first NHL goal in a game like that … it hurts,” the coach said.

The Sabres took the first four penalties of the game, including two in the first three minutes to veteran defensemen Craig Rivet and Teppo Numminen.

The third call, however, was the one that drew the ire of the fans, as Patrick Kaleta was whistled for a phantom roughing call on New York’s Chris Campoli, who appeared to lose his footing before hitting the boards.

Although Ruff disagreed with the call, he said after the game his team can’t continue to fill the penalty box.

“It takes a few players out of the game for a while,” he said.

Patrick Lalime gave starter Ryan Miller the night off between the pipes. Lalime made his fifth start of the season. He’s got just one win, a 7-1 whitewash of the Islanders Oct. 13 on Long Island.

Defenseman Henrik Tallinder and forward Maxim Afinogenov were healthy scratches for the second straight night. Center Tim Connolly remains out with a chest injury suffered last week against St. Louis.

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