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Sabres' Nolan sheds interim tag

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Sabres coach Ted Nolan will keep building what he started in Buffalo — minus the interim tag.

Nolan signed a three-year contract extension Monday, 41/2 months after returning to Buffalo on an interim basis. Nolan, in his second stint with the Sabres, has provided a spark to a young, patchwork lineup on a last-place team.

"I said back in November that it was a dream to be able to come back and coach the Sabres, and that's still true today," Nolan said. "I'm excited by the challenge facing our team and our organization. And I'm truly thankful to have this opportunity."

Nolan took over in mid November after coach Ron Rolston was fired along with general manager Darcy Regier after a franchise-worst 4-15-1 start.

The Sabres (20-45-9) haven't done much better at 16-30-8 under Nolan and are likely to finish last with only two weeks left in the season. But rookie GM Tim Murray is impressed by the job Nolan has done during what he called "a trying situation."

"I don't know if there was one 'Eureka moment,'" Murray said. "But I certainly got to the point where I knew I wanted him back, and I wanted him to be our head coach."

Game highlights: Travis Zajac scored the first of his career-best three goals just 12 seconds in and linemates Jaromir Jagr (a goal and three assists) and Ryane Clowe (a goal and two assists) bad big nights as the host Devils defeated the Panthers 6-3.

Around the league: Avalanche leading scorer Matt Duchene, who hurt his left medial collateral ligament when he ran into a teammate on the opening shift Saturday against San Jose, is expected to miss about four weeks. … Detroit's city council approved a new lease for the Red Wings' final years at Joe Louis Arena. The deal, approved 5-4, includes $5.2 million from the team to settle a dispute over cable TV fees. The team, which hopes to move to a new arena as early as 2016, will pay $1 million a year in rent retroactive to 2010.

at Devils 3 1 2 6
Panthers 1 2 0 3

First1, New Jersey, T.Zajac 14 (Jagr, Fayne), :12. 2, New Jersey, Jagr 24 (Clowe), 9:24. 3, New Jersey, T.Zajac 15 (Clowe, Gelinas), 11:33 (pp). 4, Florida, Kulikov 8 (Bjugstad), 17:22 (sh). PenaltiesHayes, Fla (hooking), 10:08; Jovanovski, Fla, double minor (roughing), 15:46.

Second5, Florida, Boyes 20 (Bjugstad), :50. 6, New Jersey, Clowe 7 (T.Zajac, Jagr), 3:05. 7, Florida, Pirri 10 (Olsen, Trocheck), 6:35. PenaltiesFayne, NJ (holding), 3:27; Elias, NJ (roughing), 4:34; Gelinas, NJ (holding), 11:18; Larsson, NJ (high-sticking), 19:57.

Third8, New Jersey, Josefson 1 (Carter), 4:02 (sh). 9, New Jersey, T.Zajac 16 (Ruutu, Jagr), 9:37. PenaltiesZubrus, NJ (holding stick), 2:57; Robak, Fla (tripping), 6:02. ShotsFlorida 4-13-5—22. New Jersey 18-7-7—32. Power playsFlorida 0 of 5; New Jersey 1 of 4. GoaliesFlorida, Ellis 5-10-0 (32 shots-26 saves). New Jersey, Brodeur 18-14-5 (9-6), Schneider (6:35 second, 13-13). A15,209 (17,625). T2:23.

at Senators 1 0 0 0 2
Hurricanes 1 0 0 0 2
Senators win shootout 1-0

First1, Ottawa, Zibanejad 14 (Wiercioch, Hemsky), 1:41. 2, Carolina, Skinner 30, 4:03. PenaltiesWard, Car, served by Liles (delay of game), 4:32.

SecondNone. PenaltiesPageau, Ott (interference), 11:53; Gryba, Ott (boarding), 18:10.

ThirdNone. PenaltiesTurris, Ott (goaltender interference), 4:20; Bowman, Car (hooking), 14:00.

OvertimeNone. PenaltiesGerbe, Car (roughing), 2:49; Gryba, Ott (roughing), 2:49.

ShootoutCarolina 0 (Nash NG, Skinner NG, Lindholm NG), Ottawa 1 (Zibanejad NG, Hemsky G, Turris NG). ShotsCarolina 9-6-12-4—31. Ottawa 9-10-9-1—29. Power playsCarolina 0 of 3; Ottawa 0 of 2. GoaliesCarolina, Ward 9-11-6 (29 shots-28 saves). Ottawa, Anderson 23-14-8 (31-30). A16,732 (19,153). T2:44.

Playoff chase

The top three teams in each division get berths. The two teams in each conference with the next-highest point totals, regardless of division, get wild cards. Wild-card standings with points, games left (fewer games played is the first tiebreaker) and regulation/overtime wins (ROW, second tiebreaker):

East Pts GL ROW

Red Wings 84 7 30

Blue Jackets 82 8 33

Capitals 81 7 25

Maple Leafs 80 6 27

Devils 79 7 32

Senators 78 7 27

Hurricanes 75 7 31

West Pts GL ROW

Wild 87 7 31

Coyotes 84 7 30

Stars 83 8 33

Canucks 79 6 29

Predators 77 6 31

Sabres' Nolan sheds interim tag 03/31/14 [Last modified: Monday, March 31, 2014 11:05pm]
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