Gerbe makes push; Pirates push off

The Sabres lost to Montreal on Saturday, 3-2, in their second-to-last pre-season contest. Clarke MacArthur and Nathan Gerbe scored the Buffalo goals. Gerbe looked hungry for a roster spot, impressing with his hustle and attitude in the paint. His unassisted shorthanded goal in the first period came when he sharply hit a seam into the slot and roofed a backhander over Carey Price's left shoulder. As time expired in the first, a determined Gerbe followed the play in tight and took a solid cross-check as fellow hopeful Tim Kennedy was getting bowled over at the side of the net. The 5'6 buzzer immediately got up and deposited Maxime Lapierre in the crease before a minor melee ensued. Gerbe finished the night with one shot on goal in 11:28 of action, while Kennedy was -1 with one shot on goal in 11:58 of work. Defenseman Tyler Myers continues to show the Sabres that he's worth a longer look, holding his own in all situations with fluid movement and increasing NHL fluency. He's making safe plays and contact in his own zone, easing his way into rushes out of it, and learning to find lanes for shots and passes in the offensive end. He was low man on the blueline with 17:50 of play, but he's gradually showing more poise and promise. I'm not sure there's much more the Sabres could expect from him at this point. Myers' ramp-up will no-doubt carry into the regular season, potentially making for some sticky decisions by the time Halloween rolls around. As of now, a ticket back to Kelowna should not on the radar. ----------------------- The Portland Pirates opened the exhibition season Saturday with a 6-3 loss to Lowell. Rookie Tyler Ennis had a goal and an assist for the Pirates, while Paul Byron also netted a goal in his first professional sniff. Free agent rookie Mark Voakes, 26, also had a goal and an assist for Portland. Voakes is signed with Cincinnati of the ECHL, but is looking to postion himself for an AHL gig after scoring 56 goals over a four-year CIS career with Wilfred Laurier. The Pirates will scoot to New Hampshire for a 2:00 Sunday faceoff with Manchester.
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