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Buffalo Sabres hockey coach Lindy Ruff whistles the start of a drill during practice at HSBC Arena in Buffalo, N.Y., Thursday, April 19, 2007. The Sabres will play the Islanders in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals Friday. (AP Photo/David Duprey)

David Duprey

"He was just having fun playing. Mike Grier just yelled down, 'Tyler, in and out, in and out,' and I think he was getting in and out before some players were getting in," Buffalo Sabres coach Lindy Ruff, discussing Tyler Myers's four-point night against the Dallas Stars on Wednesday, which jumped the Buffalo defenceman into a second-place tie with John Tavares for the rookie scoring lead behind Colorado's Matt Duchene. A defenceman hasn't won the Calder since Barrett Jackman in 2003.

"We're in a do-or-die situation," The Ducks' Ryan Getzlaf falls back on a well-worn cliché, after Anaheim's 11th-hour push for a playoff spot suddenly ground to a halt, with three consecutive losses coming out of the Olympic break. Last year, the Ducks went 10-2-1 in their final 13 games to grab the eighth playoff spot in the Western Conference. Something comparable will be needed to make up the ground again this year.

"We are a desperate team right now and we have to get back on track soon. With the situation now, our backs are against the wall," Atlanta Thrashers' general manager Don Waddell, channelling Getzlaf over in the Eastern Conference, explains why his team called up Chris Chelios rather than a less experienced defenceman in its push to get back in the playoff hunt.

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