Niagara Gazette

Sports

December 14, 2006

SABRES NOTEBOOK: Numminen back and blocking

BUFFALO — So much for Teppo’s tender toe making him tentative.

Teppo Numminen, who broke a toe and missed two games, returned to action against Florida on Thursday and didn’t shy away from action — the defenseman had three blocked shots in the first period of Buffalo’s 2-1 victory.

Numminen finished with more than 18 minutes of ice time including a shift on the power play and more than four minutes on the penalty kill. Toni Lydman led the Sabres with six blocked shots; the team had a total of 26 blocks.

•••

Andrew Peters’ quest for more ice time hit a speed bump when the Buffalo winger took a penalty in the third period.

Peters laid a big hit on Gregory Campbell in one end, then sped the other way. As he neared the Florida blue line, Peters jumped to avoid a hit from Bryan Allen. Allen still caught Peters, who spun in the air before crashing hard.

When he got up, a stickless Peters skated over and challenged Allen, who wasn’t biting. Peters was then charged with a two-minute penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Florida had chances on the ensuing power play, but couldn’t beat Ryan Miller.

“He really didn’t do anything,” Ruff said. “He didn’t touch the guy. I’d like to get clarification on that.

“The ref that comes over is always the one that didn’t call it.”

•••

The Sabres had just four shots in the second period and only one more through the first 11 minutes of the third period. They made that one count, though, as Maxim Afinogenov hit the net with what proved to be the winning goal on the power play, burying a nifty pass from Chris Drury.

•••

Henrik Tallinder continues to improve, sources with the team said, and the defenseman could return to the lineup within two weeks.

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