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RIVET HOPING HISTORY WILL REPEAT

Thursday, 04.22.2010 / 3:35 PM / News
By Erin Pollina  - Sabres.com
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RIVET HOPING HISTORY WILL REPEAT
Craig Rivet (Getty Images)
Staring at a 3-1 series deficit and heading into Game 5, defenseman Craig Rivet was firm, but collected inside the Buffalo Sabres locker room.

Fielding questions from the media, the captain was clear that confidence is not an issue, regardless of the fact that the team is facing elimination on Friday night.

Maybe it’s because the 14-year NHL veteran - with nearly 70 postseason games under his belt - knows exactly what it takes to bounce back and win.

Or maybe it’s because he’s done it before.

In fact, not only has Rivet been in the exact same situation earlier in his career, but while playing for the Montreal Canadiens - and finding himself one game away from losing in the 2004 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals - Rivet was up against an all too familiar opponent.

“That was against Boston of all teams," Rivet recalled. "We got down [3-1] in the series and what we said was to not look any farther than the game we have ahead of us."

After dropping the first two games to the Bruins in Montreal, Rivet and the Canadiens headed to Beantown. In Game 3, Alexei Kovalev scored a pair of goals to help the Habs earn their first win of the playoffs. The victory was short-lived, however, as the following game, the Bruins claimed a 4-3 overtime win to put them up in a 3-1 series lead.

Sound familiar?

Facing elimination, the Canadiens found a way to claim three consecutive wins to beat Boston in seven games, marking the first time in franchise history the team had staged such a comeback.

While it’s obviously a daunting task, Rivet and the Sabres are clinging to that hope that they can attain a similar outcome.

“We definitely feel that we can do it. There is no doubt about that,” Rivet said. “We still feel very confident with our abilities and with our team. We’re battlers.

“We have a strong core group of players, guys that have played very well and we’re getting excellent goaltending - we just need to be a little bit sharper. When you’re faced against a do or die situation, we’re going to see how we react.”

The Sabres will get that chance Friday night at HSBC Arena as they try to overcome what no other team in franchise history has done.

“We’re not looking at three in a row, we’re just looking at one game - the next game - and that’s it.” Rivet said. “That’s what we have to do. We can’t go back and turn back time and hope for something different. We have to go out and change it and its going to start with next game.”

*****

A total of eight players from the American Hockey League were recalled by the Buffalo Sabres today to serve as some depth for the playoffs, after the Portland Pirates were eliminated from the post-season.

Coming to Buffalo are: goaltenders Jhonas Enroth and J.P. Lamoureux; defensemen Mike Weber, Marc-Andre Gragnani and Mike Kostka; and forwards Philip Gogulla, Nathan Gerbe and Mark Mancari.

*****

A handful of Sabres took the ice on Thursday morning for the team's optional skate. Thomas Vanek, Matt Ellis, Chris Butler, Raffi Torres and Patrick Lalime all practiced at HSBC Arena, while Drew Stafford and Ryan Miller, meanwhile, skated without gear.

*****

The Sabres also announced some changes to Friday's "Party in the Plaza," returning for Game Five. For details, click here.

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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