Buffalo Sabres v Philadelphia Flyers - Game Two

Ryan Miller chirps at former teammate Danny Briere

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During the first two post-lockout seasons, the Buffalo Sabres rapidly climbed to hot contender status thanks to their waves of offense starring Danny Briere and their world-class goalie in Ryan Miller.

That deep offensive approach proved unsustainable thanks to the salary cap and cost-conscious owners, so the Sabres eventually said goodbye to Briere (along with Chris Drury) and put their hopes behind Miller that much more.

So Briere moved on with the Philadelphia Flyers, and after some injury-ravaged seasons, he found his game once again. He lead the entire 2010 playoffs in scoring with 30 points and achieved a new career high for goals this season with 34.

He already has two more goals in the playoffs thanks to his willingness to go to the net (despite his measly size) and ability to connect once the puck finds his stick. Miller was complimentary about his former teammate’s knack for getting to the net, but provided a surprising twist when he discussed Briere’s demeanor.

(Then again, maybe we should have seen this coming thanks to Miller’s precedent-setting “Yo Mamma” commercial.)

“Yeah, because it’s all fluff coming from him after the amount of years we’ve known each other. You can’t automatically hit a light switch and be a hard ass to me. It’s not going to do anything.

“I respect his talent and I respect what he wants I try to do out there, and if you try to get the better of each other, and when he gets the better you know it’s the headline. Even though he gets however many chances, if one goes in, it’s a headline.”

For his part, Briere was diplomatic in response. Here’s what he said to CSN Philly’s Tim Panaccio via text messages.

“Wow,” Briere texted CSNPhilly.com. “He’s definitely getting wrong info. First, I haven’t said a word to him on the ice and off the ice, I’ve only had good things to say about him because of the respect I have for him. So, I’m not gonna play that game with him.”

It’s not exactly as if this series needed much more intrigue, but I was expecting Briere’s Buffalo connections to be a story. He’s saying all the right things, but one must wonder if his goals bother Miller even more than normal considering their history.

I wouldn’t expect them to avoid each other in the handshake circle, but for two to four more games, their interactions might be that much more interesting to follow.

Doan makes Jets/Coyotes franchise history

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The Arizona Coyotes/Winnipeg Jets franchise has a new leader in career points.

Shane Doan set the new mark at 931 points, taking over the franchise lead from Dale Hawerchuk thanks to a three-point night in a 4-1 Coyotes win over the Calgary Flames on Friday.

He scored twice — his first goal of the night tied Hawerchuk’s record — and added an assist. At 39 years of age, Doan has 21 goals this season and is on pace for his best season in that department since he scored 31 in 2008-09.

In fact, at his age and this stage in his NHL career, he could set a new personal best for goals in a single season.

Despite all the off-ice turmoil the Coyotes have gone through, and the speculation of that franchise possibly uprooting from the desert, Doan has hung in there.

That’s not to say he hasn’t spoken out at times about the constant controversies that have come up between the organization, the city of Glendale and the NHL.

In September of 2012, prior to the lockout, he had the choice to sign elsewhere. He narrowed his options down to Vancouver and Phoenix, eventually deciding to stick with the Coyotes.

No regrets.

Kopitar dominates with a hat trick to help Kings defeat Rangers in OT

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Anze Kopitar received high praise from L.A. Kings coach Darryl Sutter following Friday’s win over the New York Rangers.

All Kopitar did was score three goals on four shots on goal. He was also credited with five hits while winning 65 per cent of his faceoffs. His third goal of the evening with 30 seconds remaining in regulation pushed this game into overtime, where Tanner Pearson scored the winner for L.A. in a 5-4 victory.

“It was Kopi’s best game of the season, that’s for sure,” said Sutter, as per LA Kings Insider.

“Not just because he scored three goals, but it was his best game all around in terms of using his whole package. I mean, he was a pretty dominant player.”

L.A. maintains an eight-point lead on the San Jose Sharks for the Pacific Division lead.

The Kings’ victory came at a cost. Marian Gaborik left the game in the first period after being involved in an awkward collision. He did not return, and Sutter didn’t have an update on the veteran forward when the game ended.

Video: P.K. Subban tossed after on-ice outburst toward officials

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P.K. Subban was given a game misconduct on Friday after an outburst directed at officials in the final minute against the Buffalo Sabres.

Subban was furious after the puck got caught up in the skates of the linesman in the neutral zone before Evander Kane then picked it up and scored into the open net. That put the Sabres up by two goals with 55 seconds remaining in regulation and ended any hopes of a Montreal comeback.

Subban had some choice words for officials but his argument ultimately landed him with an early exit from this game. The Habs lost by a final score of 6-4.

“I looked around to see if he was going to blow [the whistle,]” said Subban, as per Sportsnet. “The puck is coming out of the zone. It hits the linesman. He’s standing there and sees the puck coming. It goes back to the player and he puts it in the open net. It just doesn’t make any sense to me.

“Are we supposed to smile and be happy after that and say, ‘Thank you’ to the linesman? I don’t think so. I’m a little bit disappointed about that, because I felt there was a minute left in the game [and] we still had a chance to score.”

The Sabres scored four straight goals between the first and second periods, chasing Ben Scrivens from the net 1:28 into the second period.

 

Video: Doan ties Hawerchuk for most points in Jets/Coyotes history

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Shane Doan on Friday scored his 20th goal of the season, and tied a historical mark for the initial Winnipeg Jets/Arizona Coyotes franchise in the process.

Doan scored in the first period against the Calgary Flames, tying him with Dale Hawerchuk for most points in Jets/Coyotes history with 929.

Now 39 years old, Doan has spent his entire career with that organization, playing one season in Winnipeg before the organization moved to Phoenix.

He also joined another impressive list, too.