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Red Light Special

by Staff Writer / Buffalo Sabres
Blink and you may have missed Buffalo's first two goals on Friday night. The Montreal Canadiens certainly would like a mulligan for the opening two minutes of the game.

Utilizing their speed, the Sabres' nonstop attack chipped two quick scores past netminder David Aebischer and never looked back on its way to an 8-5 victory at HSBC Arena.

The red-light special marked the fifth straight game where Buffalo has scored five or more goals.

"It's scary," said rookie Mike Ryan of Buffalo's offensive minded team, which never trailed in the contest. "The amount of goals we've been able to score over the last five or six games is nuts. Everybody is contributing."

Despite Montreal creeping within a goal midway through the second, then again with two minutes remaining before the second intermission, and then again with 12 minutes left to play, the Sabres retained their perfect 31-0-0 record when possessing a two-goal lead in large part to the play of their youngsters.

Ryan finished with the first two goals of his NHL career, while Drew Stafford scored his fifth midway through the third.

Buffalo's rookies have produced like their injuried, veteran counterparts over the past week. Ryan, Stafford, Patrick Kaleta, and Clarke MacArthur have combined for 15 points (6+9) their last four games.

"The credit should go to our system," said Ryan. "Lindy wants to play an up-tempo, attacking style each and every night. He wants guys to use their assets."

Buffalo's style of play made quite an impression on Buffalo's newest forward.

"It's fast," laughed Dainius Zubrus, who saw nearly 20 minutes of ice time and finished a plus-two in his Sabres debut. "When they go, they go. And that goes for everybody from the forwards all the way to the defense. I'm not used to seeing the defense in front of me."

Blueliner Dmitri Kalinin opened the scoring for Buffalo, redirecting Jason Pominville's across-ice pass just 1:20 into the opening period to give Buffalo the 1-0 lead. Ryan added his first career goal 20 seconds later to make it a pair.

Derek Roy finished with a career high three assists, four points total, while Thomas Vanek netted two goals.

"It's pretty easy to come into this locker room," said Ryan. "I've played alongside almost half the guys in this room in Rochester over the last few years.

"They are young players, but they are ready to play," said Teppo Numminen, who scored his second goal of the season two minutes into the second.

Colliding with Patrick Kaleta while trying to make a check along the boards, Andrew Peters suffered an upper-body injury and will not play at Toronto tomorrow. Head coach Lindy Ruff hinted that Mark Mancari would be recalled from Rochester for the second time this season.
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