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Sabres report: Inside shots

The Sports Xchange
Inside shots · Notes, quotes · Roster

The Sabres got two of their top players back in their 4-3 shootout win over the New York Rangers on Friday night, but are still missing one of their main men in the middle.

Left wing Jochen Hecht and defenseman Toni Lydman both returned to action against the Rangers after missing time with injuries.

"It's nice to get them back in the fold and get them playing," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said.

Meanwhile, center Derek Roy continues to be hampered by a broken hand that has forced him to miss the last seven games. Ruff said the earliest Roy could return would be Tuesday's game in Tampa Bay.

"He's close, but still having a tough time with the stick-handling," Ruff said.

Winger Ales Kotalik made his debut at center against the Rangers, anchoring left wing Thomas Vanek and right wing Maxim Afinogenov. Kotalik is actually a natural center.

Right wing Jiri Novotny won't be returning from his upper body injury for another week or so.

The Sabres return to action Saturday at Washington in a quick turnaround after playing Friday night at home against the New York Rangers.

Daniel Briere scored the lone shootout goal and Ryan Miller made 36 saves to give the Sabres a 4-3 win over the New York Rangers on Friday night, sweeping the four-game season series in dramatic fashion. The Sabres also became the fifth team in NHL history to accumulate 20 or more wins in the first 25 games of the season.

After taking a 2-1 lead on goals by Jochen Hecht and Brian Campbell, Buffalo fell behind 3-2 after Martin Straka and Michael Nylander scored power-play goals 46 seconds apart in the third period. Chris Drury tied it with his 15th at 10:02 of the third. After Briere scored in the first round of the shootout, Miller stopped Nylander, Brendan Shanahan and Petr Prucha in succession.

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