NEW YORK -- Greetings from the World's Most Famous Arena, where I'll actually get the news out of the way before flapping about the day.
The Sabres will face a backup goalie for the second straight night after Rangers starter Henrik Lundqvist showed up at Madison Square Garden this afternoon feeling ill. He will give way to old friend Martin Biron, the former Buffalo netminder who is 1-2 with a 2.37 goals-against average and .901 save percentage.
Now, back to more important things. First, I'll take a second to remember all the real heroes out there on Veterans' Day (including my late grandfather, Mel Klumpp, who served as a Marine in World War II). Thanks for everything.
New York always loves a parade, and the Veterans' Day parade went past my Fifth Avenue hotel for four hours. I saw the start at 11:30 a.m., and when I came back at 3:30 p.m. after my day on the island, it was just wrapping up. That's a lot of drumming and marching and waving. Among the final groups was the Guardian Angels, and it was cool to see Curtis Sliwa posing for pictures and shaking hands with folks.
What was hot in addition to cool was the World Financial Center Greenmarket down near the World Trade Center site. I'm a big fan of Hot Apple Cider, and Red Jacket Orchard at the market had the best ever. Obviously fresh, it also had just-cut pieces of apple in it for an added burst. Good stuff.
Roasted chestnuts are also out and tasty, as the Big Apple gets ready for Christmas season. There's nothing like Christmas in New York, and workers were getting Rockefeller Center ready while early birds skated on the ice nearby.
In a bit of bad news, my second-favorite restaurant in North America has closed. Roberto Passon, which had an unreal Mango and Arugula salad, is no more. (It appears my favorite, The Mission in Scottsdale, Ariz., is still open.) Roberto Passon's absence led me back to Virgil's Barbecue, which restated its case as having the best brisket ever -- and I've lived in the South. The ribs still leave something to be desired, though.
Well, back to hockey soon since I assume most of y'all care more about that. Not sure why, but oh well ...
6:39 p.m.: The Sabres are going back to Jhonas Enroth as their goaltender for the third straight game. The rookie has the Sabres on their first two-game winning streak of the season.
Also, David Letterman is sitting in Section 50.
6:42 p.m.: From the Kids Say the Darnedest Things Department, here's a blistering take on the Sabres by Canisius High School senior Derik Wagner in today's Next Section of The News. And you die-hards and fanatics think Bucky Gleason is tough on your boys ...
6:47 p.m.: And with the copy editor in me coming out, the thing that stuck out for me most in Wagner's piece was his correct use of the word "uninterested." Even some professional journalists insist on using disinterested, which means impartial. Nice job, kid (or the copy editor who fixed it in case he had it wrong.)
7:02 p.m.: Letterman's got some sweet seats. He's here with three other dudes. No idea who they are, but they're all getting a kick out of the video scoreboard. I used to do a pretty good Letterman imitation during a Panama City Spring Break trip a few years back.
7:08 p.m.: Good job by military woman Corinne Powers, who was shaking the microphone nonstop because of nerves but held it together for a solid national anthem. Game on, with the Sabres trotting out Cody McCormick-Rob Niedermayer-Mike Grier and Jordan Leopold-Steve Montador for the starting lineup.
7:14 p.m.: Niedermayer takes the first penalty of the game, going for hooking with 16:01 left.
7:17 p.m.: Enroth makes saves on Brandon Dubinsky and Erik Christensen to kill penalty, and Biron stops Niedermayer on breakaway when he steps out of box.
7:19 p.m.: It's 0-0 with first commercial coming with 11:43 left. The Sabres have five of the eight shots. There's just a constant buzz in this rink. It's awesome. The Sabres are celebrating their 40th anniversary, while the Rangers are unveiling a heritage jersey Friday to celebrate their 85th anniversary. That's an impressive run.
7:21 p.m.: I was a little worried in New Jersey last night that my computer was partly to blame for my Internet woes. Nope, it's flying in here. Yet another reason to despise Newark.
7:23 p.m.: This is also the only arena where the press box is behind the net, and boy am I glad they put netting over the glass. I would've just been ducking a puck I think.
7:25 p.m.: The Sabres take the second penalty, with Paul Gaustad headed to the box for interference with 9:40 left. Just prior, Patrick Kaleta welcomed Marian Gaborik back to the lineup with a hard hit. Gaborik, who missed 12 games with a shoulder injury, was wondering how his shoulder would respond. No better person to test it than Kaleta, eh?
7:30 p.m.: Enroth stones Dan Girardi, the recipient of a cross-ice pass in the faceoff circle, to kill the second penalty. It's 0-0 with 7:16 left, with Rangers holding an 8-7 shot edge.
7:31 p.m.: I see a kid in a San Francisco Giants hat. Yee haw! World Series champs baby!
7:33 p.m.: If it weren't for the puck hitting teammates' skates, Enroth would have a lot fewer goals allowed. Brandon Prust pushed the puck from behind the Buffalo net to the front, where it hit Shaone Morrisonn's skate and then Tim Connolly's skate. No one cleared it from Connolly's feet, and Ruslan Fedotenko cleaned it up to give New York a 1-0 lead with 5:56 left. A puck deflected off Chris Butler's skate and past Enroth in New Jersey.
7:37 p.m.; Gotta admit -- I'm so jealous when I look around the press box and see that every other writer gets to be just a hockey writer instead of a writer/blogger. I used to really, really love that job.
7:41 p.m.: Sabres are stuck on seven shots as we hit the final minute.
7:42 p.m.: Sabres go to the dressing room in a 1-0 hole, with the Rangers holding a 14-8 shot edge.
8 p.m.: Game on.
8:03 p.m.: Jochen Hecht feeds Connolly for a wide-open, point-blank shot in the slot, and Connolly fires it over the net with 17:56 left.
8:05 p.m.: Biron makes a fine glove save on Niedermayer while down to keep the Sabres off the board with 16:44 to go.
8:09 p.m.: Sabres get their first power play when Michael Sauer boards Kaleta with 14:48 left. Gaustad and Fedotenko go for roughing after the play.
8:11 p.m.: Rangers easily kill the penalty.
8:12 p.m.: First commercial break comes with Rangers holding their 1-0 lead. They have a 15-11 shot edge.
8:15 p.m.: Sabres head back to the box with McCormick going for elbowing with 11:13 left.
8:17 p.m.: Leopold goes for hooking Derek Stepan -- who hasn't scored since getting three on the Sabres in the Rangers' opener -- with 9:52 left. It's a five-on-three for 39 seconds.
8:20 p.m.: Sabres kill the penalties.
8:22 p.m.: Biron keeps it 1-0 with a save on Leopold with 6:40 left. Thomas Vanek carried the puck into the New York zone and threaded a pass from behind the net through the slot for Leopold. The shots are 17-13 New York.
8:23 p.m.: Tie Domi is here.
8:30 p.m.: A great play by Vanek allows the Sabres to tie the game at 1-1 with 4:27 left. The left winger abused a New York defenseman to get around the Rangers' net, and Derek Roy picked up his jam attempt. Biron made the save, but Tyler Ennis jammed the loose puck home.
8:32 p.m.: There's 3:09 left and I noticed Sean Avery for the first time.
8:35 p.m.: Sabres call timeout with 59.2 seconds left to get rest for the Vanek line, which was tired but has to stay on because of an icing call.
8:36 p.m.: The timeout didn't work. No one bothers to pick up Artem Anisimov on the doorstep, and he banks a shot off the post with 47.5 seconds left.
8:38 p.m.: The Sabres answer with 2.9 seconds left to head to the dressing room in a 2-2 tie. Rob Niedermayer sent the puck to the front, and Grier backhanded it home just before time expired. The Sabres have a 19-18 shot edge.
8:56 p.m.: The Sabres start the period with a 20-18 shot edge after the officials add one during intermission. Game on.
9:02 p.m.: Sabres catch a break when referee waves off Fedotenko goal with 15:45 left, saying he blew the whistle before the puck went in. Replays show Fedotenko hit the puck off Enroth's glove and into the net before the goalie ever covered it.
9:05 p.m.: It's 2-2 still with 13:44 left.
9:14 p.m.: Stellar saves by Enroth, including a pad stop on Alex Frolov while down with 9:50 left, keeps the score 2-2 with 9:17 to go.
9:16 p.m.: Tripping call on Gaustad with 8:43 to go.
9:20 p.m.: Sabres get a power play with 6:06 left when Brian Boyle goes off for tripping. Letterman must be a real fan because he's still here, wasn't just a token appearance.
9:23 p.m.: Biron makes big save on Jason Pominville's power-play blast to keep it 2-2. There's 4:05 left.
9:32 p.m.: The teams are going to overtime. The Sabres will pick up points in all three road games on this trip. It's 2-2 with Sabres holding a 30-27 edge in shots.
9:38 p.m.; Anisimov scores with 3:28 left to give the Rangers a 3-2 win.