Follow The Road To Winning
Monday, 03.12.2007 / 12:00 AM / News
March 12, 2007
by Brian Wheeler
Dorothy didn't know anything about hockey.
In the midst of their longest home-losing streak of the season, the Buffalo Sabres are hoping that there is no place like the road.
Having lost three consecutive games in HSBC Arena to teams boasting stingy defenses and trapping styles, the Sabres are looking to make a fresh start in Pennsylvania as they open a four-game road trip that doesn't end until Mar. 18.
"We're going to try to find our game back on the road," said co-captain Daniel Briere. "Sometimes you keep things a little more simple on the road."
The Sabres, who have been defeated a league-low nine times during regulation on the road, will be looking for a freewheeling affair on Tuesday night when the team heads to Pittsburgh.
A high scoring affair would be a welcomed change from the past week. Lighting the lamp 18 times during a three-game winning streak from Feb. 27 to Mar. 3, Buffalo has managed just five goals in their past three.
The effect can be seen in the standings. Buffalo's once wealthy padding between second place New Jersey has shriveled to a single point.
"We have to find our game and get some bounces, but we have to create those as well," said Briere. "We want to finish first, but we know that we're going to be in a tough fight until the end of the year.
"New Jersey is right on our heals, so hopefully, it going to put some urgency into our play a little more and we can get back on the winning track."
The road to winning has a major obstacle.
Led by league scoring leader Sidney Crosby (28+72=100) and the top rookie gun Evgeni Malkin (31+42=73), the Penguins have scored the third most goals in the Eastern Conference, behind Buffalo and Ottawa, and have the fourth best home record in the East.
Pittsburgh is 8-1-1 in their last 10 games and has fought their way from the cellar up to fifth place in the Eastern Conference with 84 points.
"For some reason all year, we seem to thrive when the games are tougher," said Briere. "Like right now."