It comes down to four; and a whole bunch of math. The Sabres have four games remaining and need to win out to make sure the playoffs happen, oh and on top of that they need more help too. They need the Rangers and Panthers to each lose one of their last three games. Ah, I love playoff hockey.
The only problem is, three of the Sabres 4 games are against teams making the playoffs. The Sabres hold tie breakers against the Rangers and Panthers, so things are close, but still manageable. The Sabres lose tonight, the task gets a lot more difficult.
Best case scenario? The Sabres win out and the Rangers lose out. Not likely, but best case scenario.
The last time Detroit and Buffalo played, it was in Detroit, and despite a 45 save effort on Ryan Millers behalf, the Sabres were lucky to walk away with a 3-1 spanking. The Sabres have not beat the Red Wings since 2006 in a shootout, and the guy who scored the winning goal is no longer on the team (Ales Kotalik).
The Sabres have a very daunting but doable task in front of them, and it starts with the defending champions. Falter once, and it might not matter what the Rangers do. If the Friday night Sabres play tonights game, we have a chance at something special – a date with the Bruins in the first round of the playoffs. If the Saturday Night Sabres show up at the arena, the date will be a tee time at the Holland Hills Country Club.