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Daniel Briere Looking to Rebound

Friday, 05.11.2007 / 11:56 AM / News
By Brian Wheeler  - Sabres.com
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Daniel Briere Looking to Rebound
Daniel Briere
Daniel Briere isn't satisfied with his performance in Buffalo's 5-2 loss in Game One of the Eastern Conference Finals.

That's the obvious statement.

Seeing just over 15 minutes of ice time, Briere was held without a shot on net and finished with a minus-two rating.

"Last night was one of those games where I barely touched the puck, where usually I'm in control of the puck and can make things happen" said Briere. "Last night, the puck just wasn't coming around and except for maybe two, three shifts, I just wasn't there. I couldn't find the puck, and part of the problem is that I've got to get open. I've got to find ways and lanes to find that puck.

"I'm not happy with my game. Like I said, I've got to move on and get on to tomorrow night. I can't waste energy. I wasted enough energy last night going through the game over and over again. Today is a new day. I got to move on and concentrate on tomorrow and try to be better."

For Briere to return to the earlier form that earned him a team-high 11 points (2+9) during Buffalo's first two rounds of the playoffs, the five-foot-ten, 179-pound center must be involved in the game.

In Game One, his limited ice time could be attributed to three factors, which head coach Lindy Ruff is trying to navigate.

First, Briere is not a member of either penalty kill unit, so when the Sabres are down a man, like they were for nearly nine minutes on Thursday, Buffalo's co-captain is on the bench. Odds are this isn't going to change.

Matching lines decreases time for three of the four lines.

Secondly, Buffalo's best chance to defend against Ottawa's top line of Jason Spezza, Dany Heatley and Daniel Alfredsson is to match that combination against Chris Drury and Dainius Zubrus. The Sens put their big guns on the ice for around 20 minutes per game, which cuts everyone else's piece of the pie on Buffalo's roster.

Lastly, Briere was skating with Tim Connolly.

Ever mindful of his conditioning after only four months of preparation, Connolly's tendency is to take shorter shifts so that he doesn't get caught on the ice for long periods of time.

The effect. Briere heads to the bench at the same time as his center.

Of those three factors, the only one Ruff can really address is the latter.

In an effort to reignite his best offensive player, Ruff has dug a past recipe for success from his filing cabinet. The line of Briere between Jason Pominville and Jochen Hecht will be reunited for Game Two this Saturday in HSBC Arena (Versus, 8 p.m.).

"That isn't favorable for us," said Ruff regarding Briere's limited playing time. "The thinking behind putting that line back together is to get Danny's ice time up. [Pomminville] has been a good even strength goal scorer all year and we'd like to get his ice time up [as well].

"[The line of Briere, Connolly and Kotalik] worked for a couple of games against the Rangers, but we're going to put it back in the trunk, close the lid, and see where where we go for now."

LINE COMBINATIONS FROM TODAY
Jason Pominville -- Daniel Briere -- Jochen Hecht
Paul Gaustad -- Chris Drury -- Ales Kotalik
Thomas Vanek -- Derek Roy -- Maxim Afinogenov
Drew Stafford -- Andrew Peters -- Adam Mair -- Daniel Paille

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