Sabres-Panthers Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated March 27, 2013
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.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Rob Gronkowski gets new contract, chance to double salary

Padres offering $99 ticket plan for five June wins or 16 June games – whatever happens first

Former Jets WR Devin Smith found out he was cut via Twitter

Roger Goodell tweets ‘Key & Peele’ joke about relaxed celebration rules

Martavis Bryant: ‘I know this is my last chance’

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Glennon: ‘This is my year and I’m not worried about the future’

Durant apologizes for response to fans complaining about blowouts

Sheldon Richardson says Jets locker room is better without Brandon Marshall

What's next for the Spurs?

Pro Football Hall of Famer Cortez Kennedy dies at 48

Report: NFL modifies injured reserve rule

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

Box Score 5/23: Preds, Warriors move on to respective Finals

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Two months in and Nintendo's Switch dominates 2017 video game market

Getaway Day: League leaders falter allowing new teams to surge ahead

Best of Yardbarker: Gregg Popovich doesn't mince words

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!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Two months in and Nintendo's Switch dominates 2017 video game market

Getaway Day: League leaders falter allowing new teams to surge ahead

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker