Buffalo Sabres Insider App Twitter Facebook

Lexus

Focusing On Game Three

Tuesday, 05.23.2006 / 12:00 AM / News
Buffalo Sabres
X
Share with your Friends


Focusing On Game Three
Breathe, relax and regroup. That was the message that Sabres
co-captain Daniel Briere conveyed following practice on Tuesday afternoon.

With a one-sided 4-3 loss in Game Two behind them, the Buffalo Sabres are focused on Game Three, which will be played Wednesday at HSBC Arena, in an effort to regain their lead in the Eastern Conference Finals.

"We have to get hungrier offensively and show a little more desperation," said Briere. "They showed more intensity (in Game Two) than we did. Everything was going so well lately and we hit a bump yesterday."

Tied for fourth in playoff scoring with teammate Chris Drury and Shawn Horcoff of Edmonton, Briere has been a major piece of the Sabres postseason puzzle. The 5'10'', 176-pound center has registered five goals and 15 points in 13 playoff games.

The long arduous road to the Stanley Cup is filled with peaks and valleys. The key to success is consistency from game-to-game, something Buffalo has shown to this point.

But in order to succeed, the Sabres will need their top line to perform. Monday's game saw Briere, JP Dumont and Jochen Hecht combine for only two shots on goal and four turnovers.

"We've been playing very intense hockey for a while and we haven't had too many letdowns in the playoffs," Briere said. "(Monday) was a little bit of a letdown but you're going to have some games like that and its important that we don't panic."

Briere's "it's-not-the-end-of-the-world" attitude has been contagious throughout the locker room. Dumont and Hecht expressed similar sentiments.

But one thing is for sure.

On the road, Buffalo's opponent gets the last line change. Like the Sabres philosophy of matching lines against Philadelphia and Ottawa's top guns in the opening two rounds of the playoffs, the Hurricanes covered the Briere line with their best defensive trio: Rob Brind'Amour, Justin Williams and Cory Stillman.

In HSBC Arena, Buffalo will take control of the line match-ups.

"It's not about what they do," said Briere referring to his line. "It's the way we have to play. We've played well against everybody in this league and it's about us finding ways to create some offense."

------------------------------------------

If you had asked Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff before the best-of-seven series began about the first two games, and he would have told you how happy he would be to return to HSBC Arena with the series tied.

After doing just that, Ruff says the most disappointing part of the split was the way the team ended up at 1-1. Buffalo has been outplayed by Carolina in three of the six periods of the series.

"We did some things that weren't characteristic of our team and that we need to push aside," Ruff said. "All the chips are on the table and you want to move forward."

"But we're not going to question anybody in that room. They've been a terrific group all year long. We've put it behind us and are going to focus on Game Three."

------------------------------------------

Tim Connolly and Teppo Numminen both remain day-to-day and each will be re-evaluated tomorrow prior to Game Three to determine their status for that night.

Before Game Two, Ruff reported that Numminen was 50/50. On Tuesday, the longest tenured coach in the NHL, who has a healthy sense of humor, told of an improvement in the defenseman's condition.

"He's probably 60/40 now," joked Ruff. "He's feeling a little bit better."

Connolly has reportedly "been on the ice" by himself for exercise sessions and has shown some headway with his upper body injury. No hint of a return date has been given.

------------------------------------------

Adam Mair could be wearing a Sabres sweater as soon as Wednesday night. Mair traveled to Pittsburgh on Tuesday to meet with specialists concerning his post-concussion symptoms. If the tests come back positive, Mair could be inserted into the lineup for Game Three.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Hodgson 72 20 24 -26 44
T. Ennis 80 21 22 -25 43
D. Stafford 70 16 18 -19 34
C. Ehrhoff 79 6 27 -27 33
C. Stewart 63 15 11 0 26
C. Conacher 79 7 19 1 26
T. Myers 62 9 13 -26 22
Z. Girgensons 70 8 14 -6 22
M. Foligno 74 7 12 -17 19
J. McBain 69 6 11 -13 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
M. Neuvirth 4 8 2 .921 2.78
J. Enroth 4 17 5 .911 2.82