The Sabres are on the ice in HSBC Arena and everyone is practicing except Shaone Morrisonn (concussion symptoms). Drew Stafford, Rob Niedermayer and Tim Connolly remain in non-contact roles, meaning Mark Mancari will play again Saturday when the red-hot Pittsburgh Penguins come to town.
The Pens have won 11 straight, six shy of their NHL record set in 1992, and Sidney Crosby is on a 17-game point streak. But they're getting plenty of contributions from other sources as well. Evgeni Malkin (knee) continues to be sidelined for the Pens and is not expected to play here Saturday.
---More than a thousand fans of the old Quebec Nordiques are taking a bus ride to Nassau Coliseum for Saturday's Islanders-Thrashers game to show they'd be a better market for an NHL team than Atlanta (and they'd be better than Long Island too, for the record). They're going to hoot and holler at the 15:00 mark of each period to commemorate 15 years since the Nordiques bolted for Denver.
---The Capitals suffered their fourth straight loss as they were blanked at home by the Panthers, thanks largely to the 0-for-8 showing by the power play and continued struggles of the offense. Ted Leonsis, in as frank an analysis as you'll see from an owner these days, says his fans had every right to boo. For all of NBC's Crosby-Ovechkin promos, which guy is ruling this league right now?