Posted April 02, 2012 on AP on Fox
A loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs over the weekend damaged the Buffalo Sabres' chances of making the postseason, but they received some help on their off day. The Sabres will try to stay afloat in the playoff race Tuesday night when they host the Maple Leafs to conclude a home-and-home set. Buffalo trails Washington by two points for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, with three games remaining compared to two for the Capitals. The Sabres' prospects improved Monday night when the Capitals lost 4-2 at Tampa Bay. Though Buffalo (38-31-10) has a game in hand, Washington - which is idle Tuesday - owns the tiebreaker. "We've put ourselves in a tough spot," Buffalo right wing Jason Pominville said. "Instead of making it easy on ourselves, we're going to need some help and we're going to have to win our games. ... It might be the case where we have to win all three." The Sabres didn't helped themselves with back-to-back losses over the weekend, 5-3 at home to Pittsburgh on Friday and 4-3 at Toronto the following night. Tyler Ennis, Ville Leino and Drew Stafford scored in the loss to the Maple Leafs, while Ryan Miller made 25 saves. Defensemen Christian Ehrhoff and Tyler Myers both sat out Saturday. Ehrhoff, who has missed the last two games with a left knee injury, will miss the final three. Myers did not practice Monday, but could return for this contest after taking a shot off his foot against the Penguins. Coach Lindy Ruff said the Sabres need to cut down on mistakes, particularly since they are playing undermanned. "We've made it real tough on ourselves," Ruff said. "Obviously we know where we're at with a depleted defense. We've put ourselves in a real tough spot. We have to play a cleaner game than that. To try and chase the game with two of our more mobile defensemen out of the lineup that are on the offensive side of it, it's tough to chase. You're going to make some mistakes and give up some high-quality opportunities." Toronto (34-36-9) will try to play spoiler again. It snapped a three-game losing streak with its win over Buffalo on Saturday. The Maple Leafs, who were officially eliminated from playoff contention last week, are 6-17-3 since Feb. 7, hurt by poor goaltending. AHL call-up Ben Scrivens gave Toronto a rare solid night in net Saturday. He made 29 saves in the win, two nights after the Maple Leafs had given up seven goals in a home loss to Philadelphia. Toronto is preparing for a much tougher challenge Tuesday, particularly since it is 1-8-1 in its last 10 visits to Buffalo. "We have to be prepared mentally more than anything for the start of the hockey game," Leafs coach Randy Carlyle said. "We know they'll be coming. They're fighting for their playoff lives. It's going to be a desperate Buffalo hockey club."

Ehrhoff expected to miss final 3 games

Buffalo Sabres defenseman Christian Ehrhoff is expected to miss the final week of the season, while blue-liner Tyler Myers has a chance to return. Coach Lindy Ruff provided the update on his injured players after practice Monday. Ehrhoff has missed two games since hurting his left knee against Washington last week. Ruff said Ehrhoff's injury doesn't require surgery, and...

Sabres sign 2 prospects: F Catenacci and G Knapp

The Buffalo Sabres have agreed to sign two prospects, forward Dan Catenacci and goalie Connor Knapp, to entry-level contracts. Catenacci was Buffalo's third-round pick in the 2011 draft. He agreed to a three-year deal after completing his final season with OHL Owen Sound, where he finished second on the team with 72 points in 67 games. Knapp, listed at 6-foot-6 and 222 pounds...

Should The Whistle Have Been Blown? Breaking Down The Controversial Game-Tying Goal

It’s by far the goal of the season for the Buffalo Sabres, but it could very well be the play that everyone remembers as the goal that started the final run to the playoffs. With two minutes remaining in what seemed to be Buffalo’s second straight loss to the Leafs and final nail in their playoff coffin, Jordan Leopold become entrenched in Sabres lore forever. In the midst of...

Sabres D Ehrhoff to miss remainder of regular season with knee injury

Buffalo Sabres defenseman Christian Ehrhoff is expected to miss the final week of the season, according to head coach Lindy Ruff.Ehrhoff has missed the last two games because of a left knee injury he suffered in a game against Washington last week. Ruff announced Monday that Ehrhoff's injury doesn't require surgery and he could return if the Sabres make the postseason.Buffalo...

Ryan Miller Critics, Where Is Your Focus?

After a rough weekend for the Sabres, when so many aspects of the team’s performance were worthy of scrutiny, the local sports talk radio station spent about 99% of its airtime yesterday talking about the backup goaltender. Sportswriters pounced on another opportunity to trash Ryan Miller, and antagonist fans with an unconditional disdain for the franchise netminder ate it right...

Half Past Midnight for the Sabres

Matt and I strike up a after midnight conversation about the Sabres on facebook and decided to share it. Enjoy. Matt: Just when I think I'm out....they pullllll me back in. It's not exactly Rocky III, or anything, a 6-5 comeback win of the Leafs, who are a charity case basically, but it's...something. It's the thing they needed to keep them alive. Two games...

Maple Leafs D Gunnarsson exits vs. Sabres

Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Carl Gunnarsson suffered an upper body injury during the opening minute of Tuesday's game against the Northeast Division rival Buffalo Sabres. Gunnarsson was on the receiving end of a shoulder-to-shoulder hit from rookie Marcus Foligno behind the net. Gunnarsson was able to participate in one more shift before departing to the dressing room. The...

Mike Augello: The Mutual Benefit Society; Leafs Vs Sabres

There is a conflict of emotions for many in Leafs Nation as their club faces the Buffalo Sabres in the second of the home-and-home matchup at the First Niagara Center tonight. For those who bleed Blue-and-White, most of the emotional attachment to winning games went out the window weeks ago and with just three games left on the schedule, the only accomplishment to be made is to...

GARTH: Blue Line Update

10am Good morning from First Niagara Center where the Sabres are in the midst of their optional skate. Lindy Ruff told Howard Simon on his weekly radio show this moirning that Tyler Myers has not skated since injuring his foot while blocking a shot last Friday night vs. the Pens. Ruff said that Myers is definitely out of action tonight. Myers is not on the ice right now...

Matt Frattin vs Marcus Foligno

Former Fighting Sioux forward and current Toronto Maple Leafe Matt Frattin isn't know for his fighting skills, nor do I see him picking up the role as the Leafs goon. That was Frattin's first career fight in the NHL.  Personally, I have to give him credit for standing up for a teammate, Foligno's hit on Bozek was questionable and border line dirty and I admire...

Ziggy-Zaki Ziggy-Zaki ROY ROY ROY!

I have to admit I was all prepared to write the eulogy for the 2011-2012 Buffalo Sabres.  The last score I saw before writing this was 3-0 Leafs in the 2nd Period.  I had the title all lined up and everything:  ‘Buffalo Scat’.  But then the Leafs (perhaps acquiesing to the Toronto fan base who want a higher draft pick), decided to cough up not only a 3-0 lead, but also leads...


Its a fitting rainy day off for the Sabres today. Thunder and hail have ushered in April. The Sabres left two points on the table in Toronto that may come back to bite them in the arse later this week. My head still hurts as I analyze the mess in Toronto. The coach and players can tell you what went wrong. Lindy Ruff thanks, Ryan Miller thanks,

GARTH: Tangled In The Web

6:30pm EDT: Miller and Scrivens lead their respective squads onto the ice fo rwarm-ups. Nathan Gerbe and Mike Weber are on the ice taking the skate while Kevyn Adams, James Patrick, and Teppo Numminen look on. Each are expected to play tonight. ****
NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.