The Sabres have defensive tandem Dmitri Kalinin and Alexei Zhitnik to thank for being in the playoff hunt. Zhitnik is logging more ice time than any other Sabre, and he and Kalinin are almost always matched against the opposition's best forwards. In a two-game sweep of the Rangers last week the duo was critical in shutting down Jaromir Jagr and holding New York scoreless on the power play....Capitals G.M. George McPhee so respects goalie Olaf Kolzig that he told Kolzig he'd only be traded to a team with a solid chance to win the Stanley Cup. That's one reason Kolzig isn't in net for the Rangers now.... The Red Wings had hoped to have promising 20-year-old forward Igor Grigorenko in the lineup when the season began, but he was seriously injured in an auto accident in his native Russia in May and underwent surgery for broken bones in his left leg. He's been skating with his Russian club team, and shortly he'll have the rod in his leg removed. Though he still needs minor
surgery on his right big toe, the Wings expect Grigorenko to begin practicing with them this spring.