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Teams face second-half marathon toward playoffs

Updated: March 1, 2006, 12:09 AM ET
By Scott Burnside | ESPN.com

"March Madness."

That's what Buffalo Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff calls it, and he's not talking about the dressing room basketball pool.

No, Ruff is talking about what awaits his Sabres and the rest of the NHL now that the Olympic break is over and the NHL race to the playoffs moves into high gear.

The NHL returned to action Tuesday after the 15-day Torino Olympic break. For teams from coast to coast, the next 50 days between Feb. 28 and the final regular season games on April 18 ...

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