Posted March 27, 2013 on AP on Fox
If the Buffalo Sabres are to make a serious push into playoff position, they likely can't afford losing to the few teams below them in the Eastern Conference standings. The visiting Sabres try to bounce back from a frustrating defeat by handing the lowly Florida Panthers a fourth consecutive loss Thursday night. Buffalo (13-16-4) was riding a three-game winning streak when it recorded a season-low 14 shots on goal in Tuesday's 2-1 road loss to a Tampa Bay team that dropped its previous three and reeling after the firing of coach Guy Boucher. One point ahead of the Lightning, the Sabres are 12th in the East and four points behind the New York Rangers for the eighth and final playoff spot. "No one's going to help us,'' said Buffalo's Ryan Miller, who made 21 saves. "We've got to get two points every night, and (the) first two periods didn't speak to what we've been trying to do lately.'' Miller yielded a goal on two shots in the first period. Buffalo managed four shots over the first 20 minutes and didn't score until defenseman Jordan Leopold's second of the year came late in the third. The Sabres have three goals in two games since scoring at least three in each of the previous five. "We weren't prepared enough, but the bottom line is we're in a race right now and we desperately needed those points,'' Leopold said. "We were on a roll there, too. You look at it, three games without a loss. We get something rolling there and go out and have that.'' It would seem Buffalo has a good chance to rebound against the Panthers (9-19-6), whose nine wins and 24 points are the fewest in the NHL. The teams split the previous two 2013 meetings that were both decided by 4-3 scores. Buffalo, which won in a shootout at Florida on Feb. 28, has earned at least one point in its last four (3-0-1) at the BB&T Center as part of a 9-2-1 stretch there. Florida returns from a 2-3-0 trip looking to avoid its second five-game home losing streak of the season. The Panthers outscored Carolina and the New York Rangers 7-2 to win the first two on the trip, but were outscored 8-3 in losses at New Jersey, the New York Islanders and Toronto. Florida had 42 shots Tuesday, but allowed two third-period goals to fall for the ninth time in 11 games, 3-2 to the Maple Leafs. "I thought we deserved a better outcome than this,'' said Florida goaltender Jacob Markstrom, who has stopped 62 of 66 shots in the last two losses. "I thought we played a good game and we had a lot of shots on net. We've just got to continue to do that and good things will happen. It's not fun to lose and let three goals in. I felt good but you don't want to lose.'' Florida failed on its only power-play chance Tuesday and is 3 for 27 in 13 games. However, Buffalo's last 11 opponents have gone 12 of 38 with the man advantage. Panthers rookie Jonathan Huberdeau is tied for the team lead with 12 goals - which also leads all rookies - but has none in nine games. He has only one assist against the Sabres.

Report: Ryan Miller Is “In Play” For Trade

Daren Millard of Sportsnet reported on twitter just over an hour ago that the Sabres and Lightning are in trade talks, and Ryan Miller's name is being discussed. Continue reading "Report: Ryan Miller Is “In Play” For Trade"

Thomas Vanek Out, Drew Stafford In For Buffalo

Thomas Vanek’s presence will be missed on the ice© Dan Hickling, Queen City Sports Buffalo’s already slim playoff chances took a major blow on Tuesday night when the team failed to capitalize on a vulnerable Tampa Bay Lightning group that had just lost their head coach and were losers of three straight games. Tonight, the Sabres once again face a team riding a three game losing...

Sabres at Panthers game preview

Game time: 7:30 p.m.TV: Sun Sports If the Buffalo Sabres are to make a serious push into playoff position, they likely can't afford losing to the few teams below them in the Eastern Conference standings. The visiting Sabres try to bounce back from a frustrating defeat by handing the lowly Florida Panthers a fourth consecutive loss Thursday night. Buffalo (13-16-4) was riding...

GARTH: Pysyk Sits

Reggie Sekera is in the starting lineup tonight, as is Big John Scott. Thomas Vanek will sit this one out while he nurses his upper body muscle strain. Mark Pysyk and Brian Flynn will be the healthy scratches for Buffalo. ***

GARTH: Yzerman Phoned Ruff

Tampa Lightning GM, Steve Yzerman, spoke this morning after his team's game day skate about his decision making process in selecting Jon Cooper as his team's new head coach. Yzerman says that he spoke by phone with former Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff on Monday, to inform him of his decision to hire Cooper. Out of respect, Stevie Y phoned Ruff to share with him the news...

Lightning defense holds off the Sabres

On a night where new head coach Jon Cooper was in the building, Tampa Bay were impressive defensively, beating the Buffalo Sabres 2-1. The Lightning forced Buffalo into several turnovers and miscues at the blue line periodically throughout the game. The scoring started when Steven Stamkos got his 23rd goal of the season on a power play in the first period. In the second, the Lightning...

GARTH: Staff Development

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Panthers win in shootout against Sabres

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) -- Mike Santorelli scored the winning goal in the shootoout to lift the Florida Panthers to a 5-4 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night. Jonathan Huberdeau also scored in the shootout for the Panthers and Jason Pominville scored for Buffalo. Shawn Matthias had two goals in regulation and Jonathan Huberdeau and Tomas Fleischmann also scored for the Panthers...

Michael Stuart: Stamkos, St. Louis Lead Lightning Past Sabres

The Buffalo Sabres were dealt a harsh dose of reality on Tuesday night as they fell to the Tampa Bay Lightning and had their already wavering playoff hopes dashed to near extinction. The Lightning looked hungry, played with drive, and showed new coach Jon Cooper that they are ready for business. Ultimately it all paid off as the Lightning officially began the Cooper era with a...

Michael Stuart: Rumor: Ryan Miller to the Tampa Bay Lightning?

Thanks to a tweet just a few hours ago, the Tampa Bay Lightning twitter-verse is alive and buzzing with rumors suggesting that the Lightning and Buffalo Sabres are talking trade and that Ryan Miller is a central figure in discussions. This isn’t speculation or a bogus rumor from somebody who can’t spell ‘hockey’ or ‘insider’. This is a legitimate point...

GARTH: 28 On The Table. Go Get 'Em

With the loser point in Sunrise on Thursday night, the Sabres now have 31 points in 34 games. They need 52-53 points in order to stab their double-edged sword in the eighth and final playoff spot. Ryan Miller is doing the math for his teammates: There's 28 points up for grabs in the next 14 games. Go get 'em. Thanks, At this point in this most...
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