Sabres Notebook: Foligno awed by streak of brother's BlueJackets - The Buffalo News
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Sabres Notebook: Foligno awed by streak of brother's BlueJackets

CHICAGO -- For just a second, move past the fact his brother is the captain. Sabres winger Marcus Foligno feels like lots of other NHL players: What the Columbus Blue Jackets have done this season is pretty awesome.

The Jackets' 16-game winning streak ended Thursday night in Washington, one game shy of tying the NHL record of 17 set by the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1993. And it's one of several big runs in the NHL this year.

"It's tough to put wins together in this league. You start getting to even about six in a row and it's a lot," Foligno said prior to Thursday's game against the Chicago Blackhawks. "But a lot of teams are going to 8-10-12 wins. It's something that gives us some hope."

Foligno said he talked to brother, Nick, during Christmas break when Columbus was at 12 games and the report he was given made an impression.

"He talked about how the energy in the room is there. Everyone is upbeat and going to the rink happy and with swagger," Foligno said. "They play with that confidence and before you know it, if you fall behind you always seem to feel like you're going to win. You know it even before you play the game. They're in a great state of mind, scoring goals, power play. Everyone is chipping in. You have to start with 2-3 in a row together and let it snowball from there."

Minnesota won 12 in a row -- a streak ended Saturday by the Blue Jackets -- and Philadelphia put a 10-gamer together earlier this season.

"You've seen some teams go on some real runs this year," noted Hawks winger and South Buffalo native Patrick Kane. "Columbus has been super hot. We've been following it in here but not as close as Minnesota because Columbus is in the East now. But I'm happy for my buddy (and former junior teammate) Sam Gagner there in Columbus. He's playing really well and it's nice to see him rejuvenated. It's pretty impressive."

Marcus Foligno said he's never been a part of a winning streak more than nine games, coming his last year in junior at Sudbury.

"You come to the rink there's just expectations to win before they even drop the puck," he said. "You know you're going to win before you even start. Everything is clicking and you're not gripping the stick as hard as you used to. Things seem to bounce your way and you don't want those to stop."

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Former Sabres defenseman Brian Campbell, now 37, was a healthy scratch for the second time in four games after posting a minus-2 rating Monday in the Hawks' loss to St. Louis at the Winter Classic in Busch Stadium.

Campbell lost a consecutive games streak that hit 423 when he was scratched from the Hawks' Dec. 29 win at Nashville, the first game he had missed since the 2010-11 season. He has three goals and seven assists this season in 39 games after re-signing with the Hawks over the summer following five seasons in Florida.

Campbell played three years in Chicago, winning a Stanley Cup in 2010. He debuted with the Sabres as a 20-year-old in 1999 before being traded to San Jose at the deadline in 2008.

"It's obviously a little different," Campbell said of watching games in the press box. "But I'm still enjoying it, still having fun. That's the main thing. Go out there, work hard and be ready. I still feel like I've got a lot left with me."

The Hawks have eight defensemen on their roster and it's tough for Campbell to crack a lineup that features Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Trevor van Riemsdyk, Michael Kempny and Gustav Forsling.

"I try not to use excuses and blame having eight," he said. "I've felt good at parts of this season. I felt I was skating well and maybe I got away from that a little bit. You definitely have to take care of yourself and do the right thing away from the rink to be ready to go."

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Sabres defenseman Jake McCabe, who is nursing a hand injury, took his spot on the top pair Wednesday with Rasmus Ristolainen after sitting out practice here Wednesday.

Josh Gorges, who missed Tuesday's game in New York after leaving in the first period Saturday in Boston with a hip pointer, returned to the lineup and played on the third pair with Taylor Fedun. Justin Falk was a healthy scratch for the first time in the last seven games.

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Forward Cole Schneider and goalie Linus Ullmark have been selected to represent the Rochester Amerks during the AHL All-Star Game Jan. 29 in Allentown, Pa. They will play on the North Division All-Stars as the AHL's four divisions will play a 3-on-3 tournament, much like the NHL moved to last year for its midseason event.

Schneider, the St. Joe's product, is tied for second in the AHL with 34 points (14 goals, 20 assists). Ullmark is 13-12-1 for the Amerks with a 3.00 goals-against average and a .907 save percentage.

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The Sabres have announced that Tops Friendly Markets will sponsor the team's remaining four matinees as Kids Day games, with families able to bring children at discounted prices.

Fans who purchase a regular-price 300 Level II ticket for any of the games will be able to purchase up to four additional kids tickets for $15 each and receive a free coupon for a promotion at Tops.

The games are Saturday against Winnipeg, Jan. 16 against Dallas, Feb. 18 against St. Louis and April 2 against the New York Islanders. Tickets can be purchased at the KeyBank Center box office, online at Tickets.com or by calling 1-888-223-6000.

email: mharrington@buffnews.com

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