BUFFALO, N.Y. — Lindy Ruff is out as coach in Buffalo, meaning the slow-starting, inconsistent and sometimes lethargic Sabres are now Ron Rolston's mess.
Rolston was promoted from the Sabres' AHL affiliate in Rochester to finish the season as interim coach Wednesday, hours after Ruff, in his 16th season and the league's longest-tenured coach, was fired amid growing criticism for the team's struggles.
The Sabres are 4-10-1 after a 2-1 home loss to the Jets on Tuesday, a game in which they were booed several times for their turnover-filled, inconsistent effort.
"I think the last game was quite honestly a tipping point," general manger Darcy Regier said. "And it was evident to me that we were searching for answers to too many questions."
Among North America's four major pro sports, Ruff's tenure was second to Gregg Popovich, coach of the NBA's Spurs since 1996, a year before Ruff was hired.
Sabres management had spent much of the past week voicing support of Ruff. Regier said the decision to fire Ruff was his.
game highlights: Jakub Voracek completed a hat trick with 31 seconds left to give the Flyers a 6-5 win over the host Penguins.
around the league: Canucks forward Jannik Hansen was suspended for one game for a forearm to the head of Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa on Tuesday. … Hurricanes forward Jeff Skinner, the 2011 rookie of the year, has a concussion, the team said. … The Ducks signed goalie Viktor Fasth, 8-0-0 in his first NHL season, to a two-year, $5.8 million contract extension.
First—1, Pitts, Niskanen 2 (Letang), 5:07. 2, Pitts, Malkin 4 (Martin, Neal), 7:15 (pp). 3, Phi, Grossmann 1 (Knuble, Couturier), 11:49. 4, Phi, Simmonds 5 (Briere), 12:49. Penalties—Zolnierczyk, Phi (boarding), 5:20; Voracek, Phi (unsprtsmn conduct), 13:15; Cooke, Pit (unsprtsmn conduct), 13:15; Engelland, Pit (roughng), 13:15; Simmonds, Phi, major (fight), 13:28; B.Schenn, Phi (cross-check), 13:28; Glass, Pit, major (fight), 13:28; Rinaldo, Phi (slash), 17:20; Letang, Pit (slash), 17:20.
Second—5, Phi, Voracek 4 (Simmonds, B.Schenn), 19:50 (pp). Penalties—Couturier, Phi (cross-check), 4:45; Neal, Pit (interfere), 10:24; Adams, Pit (elbow), 18:28.
Third—6, Phi, Voracek 5 (Coburn, Giroux), :18. 7, Pitts, Kennedy 2 (Martin, Orpik), 5:29. 8, Phi, Simmonds 6 (Talbot, Gervais), 7:36. 9, Pitts, Neal 12 (Malkin, Crosby), 12:46 (pp). 10, Pitts, Sutter 4 (Martin, Cooke), 17:57. 11, Phi, Voracek 6 (Giroux), 18:29. Penalties—Couturier, Phi (slash), 1:14; Malkin, Pit, double minor (roughing), 1:14; Glass, Pit, double minor (high-stick), 7:56; Knuble, Phi, double minor (high-stick), 11:36; Fedotenko, Phi (high-stick), 12:17; Talbot, Phi (close hand on puck), 13:52. Shots—Phi 15-9-8—32. Pitts 13-9-10—32. PP opps—Phi 1 of 6; Pitts 2 of 7. Goalies—Phi, Bryzgalov 8-7-1 (32 shots-27 saves). Pitts, Vokoun 3-3-0 (32-26).