Timothy T. Ludwig-US PRESSWIRE

PreGame Skate: Florida Panthers

The Buffalo Sabres skate into their final 11 games starting tonight against the Florida Panthers.  The Sabres can ill afford to take their normal Florida road trip late in the season, and drop games like they normally do.

This Florida team is not the same one that we have met over the course of the last twelve years.  Seeing red must have helped, because the Panthers are headed to the post season for the first time since the 1999-2000 season.  Kudos to the management down there to culture shock the franchise in the off season from pretender to contender.

So far the season series is going in Buffalo’s favor, with the 2-1 record coming all before mid December.  After giving away a point to Colorado, the Sabres are in desperate need of two points to keep pace in the standings.  The Sabres are in a position where one win won’t completely kill them, but they need more wins than losses at this point, so leaving it all on the ice is important. 

The Panthers have been offly stingy with their oppenents on their latest stretch, outscoring opponents 17-6, this could prove troublesome for a Sabres team that hasn’t been able to click offensively, despite their late season success story.

Its a 730 contest, and the game is set to air on MSG.  Both the Jets and the Capitals are off today, so it will be an important game to pick up two points in.  The Sabres still sit three behind the Washington Capitals for the final playoff spot.

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Tags: Buffalo Sabres Florida Panthers

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