Niagara Gazette

Pro Sports

April 7, 2009

SABRES NOTEBOOK: Mair, Pominville miss early chances

BUFFALO — It’s tough to pin the offensive struggles of the Sabres onto Adam Mair, but the gritty center missed a golden opportunity in the first period, and Buffalo couldn’t get much else going in a 4-1 loss to the Detroit Red Wings.

Mair couldn’t convert on a great chance to the side of Detroit goalie Chris Osgood in the first. Jason Pominville also had what looked like an open net, but hit Osgood on the power play in the first period as the Sabres rolled out an 11-5 lead in shots.

“It would have been great to get an opportunity to take the lead. It might have changed the momentum,” Mair said. “But going into the third we felt confident in the room.”

•••

A hip injury has likely ended the season of goalie Patrick Lalime, Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said prior to Monday’s contest.

Lalime, who is under contract for next year, hadn’t dressed in the past three games as Ryan Miller had recently acquired goalie Mikael Tellqvist backing him up.

Lalime appeared in 24 games for Buffalo this season, compiling a 5-13-3 record with a 3.10 goals against average.

•••

Away from the ice, the Sabres announced they signed free agent forward Travis Turnbull to a two-year entry level contract.

Turnbull, the son of former NHL player Perry Turnbull, recently completed his senior season at the University of Michigan when the Wolverines were upset by Air Force.

Turnbull will head to Portland and finish the season with the Pirates, with his deal kicking in next year.

A 6-foot, 193-pound forward, Turnbull posted career highs in points (28) and penalty minutes (74) this season and has shown his durability — he never missed a game in his college career, and set the Michigan record for consecutive games played with 166.

•••

The final score read 3-1, but it could have been even worse in the third period as the Red Wings missed a number of glorious chances.

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