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Sabres fever returns to Buffalo

By Eileen Buckley

Buffalo, NY – The Buffalo Sabres clinched a playoff spot Friday night on home ice after defeating the Philadelphia Flyers 4-3.

Sabres Thomas Vanek scored the winning overtime goal. The team made a two-goal comeback in the game.

Danny Briere and Scott Hartnell had a goal and assist.

Friday night's win places the Sabres in seventh place in the Eastern Conference standings.

Sabres fans were roaring with excitement before and after the win. Friday night's home game included Fan Appreciation Night. It began with a huge celebration at HSBC in honor of the franchise's 40th year. It was a Sabres fan dream night.

First fans jammed the party in the plaza outside HSBC before game time. The event included a "red carpet" walk for former Sabres players. Fans lined up for autographs and to celebrate their team.

It included a moving salute to former Buffalo Sabre and famed French Connection player Rick Martin who died last month after suffering a heart attack in a car crash in Clarence. Rene Robert and Gilbert Perrault carried his jersey out onto the ice as tribute.

The Sabres announced that first round playoff tickets will go on sale Monday

The Buffalo Sabres announced that individual game tickets for the three potential first-round homes games in the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs will go on sale Monday, April 11 at 9 a.m.

There will be several thousand tickets available for each game. The opponent has yet to be determined, and the NHL will announce the complete first-round schedule on Sunday night.

Tickets will be available in person at the HSBC Arena Box Office, online at www.sabres.com, tickets.com or charge by phone at 1-888-223-6000. Fans are encouraged to purchase online to avoid potential lineup delays at the arena box office.

Tickets will be at Gold Level pricing, ranging from $60 for 300 Level III/IV seats, to $178 for 200 Club Level seats. The complete pricing structure is outlined below:

200 Club Level $178

100 Level Preferred $163

100 Level II $141

100 Level III $118

100 Level IV $104

300 Level I $89

300 Level II $74

300 Level III/IV $60