If this keeps up, the only Sabres who look forward to playing in Memorial Auditorium will be the ones who have been traded away.
The Sabres tied a team record with their fifth consecutive home loss Friday. That was bad enough. But as a further indignity, they had to watch a former teammate skate away with the first star for the second home game in a row.
Just as the recently departed John Tucker had done just one week before, Chicago's Adam Creighton emerged as the hero in Buffalo's 4-2 loss to the Blackhawks.
Creighton, who was sent to Chicago in December 1988 in the trade for Rick Vaive, had two goals and an assist against his former mates. He set up Chicago's first goal early in the game and scored his team's final two goals when the Sabres were scrambling to get back in it.
Creighton, who struggled for consistency and playing time in his Buffalo career, has 27 goals -- tops for Chicago and more than any Sabre.
"It was pretty special," said Creighton. "I was kind of looking forward to it. It's good to do it anywhere, but when a team gets rid of you, it's good to come back and stick it to them.
"I've got a lot of good friends on that team," he said. "I don't know if they still are my friends, but it feels good to come back and have a good game like that, especially when there's a lot of people here who I know."
Creighton's performance was even more pleasing because it came, purely by coincidence, on Welland Night.
He is a native of that small Canadian city just over the border, and several of his hometown fans were here to see him.
"Things have come together for me," Creighton said. "The big thing is confidence and working hard. I think I have a new attitude toward the game and my play. When I was here, there were so many ups and downs. You're not playing and then you're in and out of the lineup. I really didn't enjoy hockey.
"Now that I'm in Chicago, I really enjoy it," he said, "and I look forward to it. It's just fun going to the rink."
The Sabres' five-game home losing streak equals the record set between Feb. 15 and March 3, 1985. They were 15-1-2 in the Aud when the losing streak began with a 4-3 loss to Boston Dec. 29. Their last home victory was a 6-3 win over Detroit the day after Christmas, more than a month ago.
Alexander Mogilny, still suffering from a stomach flu, was scratched from the Buffalo lineup. Also scratched were Ray Sheppard, injured defensemen Larry Playfair and defenseman Dale DeGray, who has been sent back to Rochester. Denis Savard, Chicago's star center and leading scorer, returned to the lineup after being idled by an ankle sprain, but he wasn't much of a factor.
The second and third stars also went to the Blackhawks. Goaltender Alain Chevrier, who shares the netminding with ex-Sabre Jacques Cloutier, was named second star after turning aside 32 of Buffalo's 34 shots. Left wing Steve Thomas, who scored the opening goal and recorded six shots on goal, was the third star.