If your not going to get help from the teams on the out of town scoreboard, you have to take matters into your own hands. The Buffalo Sabres have done just that in the last three games. With shutouts against the Montreal Canadiens and New Jersey Devils, and a 4-2 victory against the Florida Panthers have the Buffalo Sabres in firm control of the eighth and final playoff spot, and knocking on the doors of the seventh place New York Rangers.
The Buffalo Sabres were able to put the final nail in the coffin for the Florida Panthers season by beating them, and they have done the same thing for the New Jersey Devils. The Devils need to win every game of the year, and get a lot of help from the out of town scoreboard in order to think about a playoff berth.
Ryan Miller matches his career high for shutouts at five. Nathan Gerbe now has five goals in his last five games. Thomas Vanek found the back of the net for the first time in a long time, finally hitting the open net, something he had been missing as of late.
The referees must not wanted to work real hard tonight, as there were very few whistles. Blatant penalties weren’t called, calls were missed – big time, to include a moronic icing call in the final seconds that could have cost Ryan Miller his shutout.
The Buffalo Sabres are clicking at the right time, however there are still some glaring needs that this roster needs to address before they can find success in the post season. Weber again cleared the puck to the front of the net right to Kovalchuck. Many defensive lapses in the second period required Ryan Miller to bail out the team in front of him.
Despite their lapses, The Buffalo Sabres are set to not only clinch a playoff spot, but hurdle the two teams in front of them. The Carolina Hurricanes lost tonight to the Tamba Bay Lightning, making the gap five points now with the same number of games played. It is now going to be very hard to climb back into the playoff picture. The Toronto Maple Leafs are next, and the Buffalo Sabres can win four games in a row for the first time this season. Winning against Toronto will help kill the playoff hopes of another team.