OTTAWA -- First, a moment of silence as I prepare to leave Ottawa for the final time this season.
As always, it's been fun. So long Alexander Keith and shawarmas. Hello drive back to Buffalo. But first, some Wednesday morning papers:
*"We really had to dig ourselves out, and I think we should feel good about what we've done as we go into the break on a high note here," Sabres goalie Ryan Miller said after a 3-2 overtime victory against Ottawa that sent the team into the All-Star break. "Guys should get their energy because that last push is the most intense."
*"It was a dream come true, to play against the Senators, and for everyone to see that goal," Sabres forward and Ottawa native Paul Byron said in this Ottawa Citizen profile.
*"Everybody as you get older would like to be in a spot where you have one of the best teams in the league and you're fighting for the Stanley Cup, but that's not where we are this year," Sens captain Daniel Alfredsson said. "I have no problems being here in Ottawa in the situation we are. I'm not happy about it, but I'm going to make the most of it and try to help all the young guys get better and put this ship in the right direction."
*The Senators will spend at least another week living with a long string of ghastly numbers, writes the Ottawa Cititzen. Tuesday’s defeat makes it seven straight losses at Scotiabank Place and six overall. The Senators have now dropped 12 of their past 13 games. Goaltender Brian Elliott, who last tasted victory on Dec. 26, has now suffered 11 straight defeats.
*Don Brennan's view from the press box in the Ottawa Sun includes a chance to catch up with one of the funniest guys in hockey, Sabres broadcaster Harry Neale. Also made Brennan think — if the Senators are going to be bad next season, they might as well be self-deprecating, right? How about you coaching them, Harry?
"I haven’t lost a game in 22 years," Neale proudly stated Tuesday morning. “Of course, I haven’t won one, either."
*Florida defenseman Mike Weaver scored the winning goal in a 4-3 victory over the Rangers with 8:19 left on a shot that was going wide, but instead found its way past surprised goalie Henrik Lundqvist after hitting Rangers forward Artem Anisimov. The wayward drive was the Panthers' only shot of the third period.
"Great! And it wasn't even on net," said Weaver, who hadn't scored in 41 games, dating to Oct. 23.
*Martin Havlat of the Minnesota Wild and defenseman Keith Yandle of the Phoenix Coyotes are heading to the NHL All-Star Game as injury replacements.
*Sabres center Cody McCormick told TSN both Tim Gleason and Nikolai Kulemin could have showed a little more discretion and found fault in the way each participant acted in a one-sided, gloves-on versus glove-off fight this week.
"I think Kulemin could have protected himself a little more. On Gleason's side he could have been aware who he was in front of."