OTTAWA -- Good morning from the capital of The True North, which still has the best shawarmas this side of the Middle East (and since my D.C. cousin Jim Juraska was in town this weekend and actually has been to the Middle East, I stand by that statement). Anyway, here's your Sunday morning roundup, starting with the team from the B-lo:
*Someone had to win. It was just a matter of one of the teams proving it wanted to beat the other.
The Buffalo Sabres and Ottawa Senators struggled through 65 minutes of hockey without touching the net Saturday, a game that was nearly as tough to score in as it was to watch. Thomas Vanek finally ended the contest, scoring on a slap shot in the shootout to give the Sabres a 1-0 victory. It was the first 1-0 shootout win in Sabres history and just the 20th 1-0 shootout in NHL annals.
*Rob Niedermayer had undergone arthroscopic knee surgery before, so he was aware there would be a slow recovery process. The Sabres forward didn't think it would be quite this slow. Meanwhile, Drew Stafford and Shaone Morrisonn joined him on the injured list.
*News Business columnist David Robinson has more on the man who could be the next owner of the Sabres, Terrence Pegula, who owes the bulk of his fortune to a thin layer of black rock about a mile below the surface.
*The NHL's board of governors meet this week, and discussion about Pegula could be on the agenda, according to TSN.ca. The salary cap certainly will be.
*Bucky Gleason and Larry Felser are the latest to pay tribute to the late Jim Kelley.
Bucky recalls in Inside the NHL that no matter how many times he encouraged me to keep pushing, no matter how many ways he guided me into his chair, this space belonged to him. His name was synonymous with Inside the NHL. Nobody felt stronger about that than I did. See, he was my John Wooden. He was my mentor, supporter, confidant and idol from before I began covering the Sabres in the mid-1990s through our last conversation, just before Thanksgiving.
Felser talks of how Jim was an ideal companion, spinning tales of South Buffalo, his first days with The News, his professional future as well as hockey.
*The Ottawa Sun reports on the sinking Senators, who set a club record for going scoreless at home of 178:30.
*The Sabres visit Boston on Tuesday for their next game, and the Bruins are riding goalie Tim Thomas. The Boston Globe reports Phil Kessel struck for a shootout goal, snapping a forehander through the pads of Thomas to lead the sagging, desperate-for-a-break Leafs to a 3-2 victory on a night in which a brilliant Thomas (38 saves) otherwise stole the show, including the save below in overtime on Francois Beauchemin.
Thomas, the early favorite to win what would be his second Vezina Trophy in three seasons, was sensational across three-plus periods, and only yielded the tying goal with 42 seconds remaining in regulation when the Leafs skated with a 6-on-4 advantage (Patrice Bergeron off for holding and goalie J.S. Giguere pulled for an extra attacker).