Clarke MacArthur was disappointed he was one of the Buffalo Sabres' final cuts in training camp. So when he rejoined the team Wednesday morning, he said he'd love to provide some instant impact to a struggling offense.
An overtime winner in his first NHL game of the season certainly rates that way. MacArthur slapped home a Drew Stafford feed at 3:16 of OT to give the Sabres a 2-1 win over the Boston Bruins on Wednesday night.
With not much happening in the OT, coach Lindy Ruff put MacArthur and Stafford on the ice with dependable defensemen Toni Lydman and Henrik Tallinder. Lydman pinched deep into the Boston zone, Stafford made a nifty backhand pass and MacArthur didn't miss on his shot.
"It was nice to see," said Ruff. "Sometimes you get a hunch and I thought giving Clarke and 'Staff' a shot there in overtime was great. He's been going real well in Rochester and it was nice to see him get rewarded for how hard he's worked down there.
"With some key personnel out, we needed a boost and I thought Clarke gave us that."
"It was great for Lindy to think to put me out in the last couple minutes like that," MacArthur said. "[Marc] Savard's line was out there for them and [Ruff] could have changed us and left us there [on the bench]. I owe a lot to him for giving us the chance."
MacArthur was leading the American Hockey League in scoring with eight goals and 10 assists in 14 games for the Rochester Americans. He had seven points in 19 games over three stints with the Sabres last year. He was needed because Adam Mair (ankle) and Tim Connolly (oblique) were hurt in Monday's loss at Montreal.
"I knew that was what they wanted from me -- to create offense," MacArthur said. "I felt we did that tonight at the end."
Defensemen Jaroslav Spacek (shoulder) and Nolan Pratt (groin) remained sidelined, leaving Mike Weber and Andrej Sekera in the lineup.
"We're hoping for bigger gains [on Spacek's and Pratt's injuries] and we haven't seen them. . . . I'm hoping we get one of them back by the weekend but it's a day-to-day thing," Ruff said.
The Sabres Foundation will be holding its second in-game auction of the season during Friday's game against Toronto. The auction site will be the east wing of the 100 level pavilion and it will run from 5:30 until the start of the third period.
Among the items that will be up for bid are autographed jerseys of Sabres goalie Ryan Miller and Leafs forwards Mats Sundin and Darcy Tucker.
Rochester right winger Patrick Kaleta, the Angola native, hasn't been a factor in the Sabres' thinking thus far because he's played just two games due to a groin strain. Kaleta is expected to return to action this weekend.