8 games remain for the Buffalo Sabres.
15 days are left in the NHL regular season.
Tonight, the Sabres are on the road to face the top team in the Eastern Conference, the New York Rangers. Game time is 7pm. The Rangers hold a home record of 26-9-2 (also best in the East), while the Sabres are 16-18-2 on the road this season.
With an overtime loss to the Philadelphia Flyers last night, the Washington Capitals were able to take sole possession of the 8th and final playoff spot, leading the Sabres by just one point.
Sports Club Stats now estimates the Sabres chances of making the postseason at 23%, which is up from the 15% they stood at a few days ago.
The Rangers enter the game with victories in just 5 of their last 10 games, but have defeated the Sabres in the three prior meetings this season. Buffalo is 5-1-2 in their last 8. The Sabres are 11-2-3 since being in last place in the East in February.
Rochester native (and my former neighbor) Ryan Callahan has four goals for New York in his last eight games, bringing his season total to a career high 27. He scored the game winner 2:42 into overtime on his 27th birthday Wednesday against the Detroit Red Wings. Callahan also provided the winning goals in the last two meetings between the Sabres and Rangers, scoring in overtime of the Rangers 3-2 home win February 25th, and netting the deciding shootout goal in a 1-0 victory on February 1st in Buffalo.
Sabres netminder Ryan Miller started each of the last two losses to the Rangers and limited New York to three goals on 57 shots. His career numbers remain excellent at Madison Square Garden, where he is 6-2-2 with a 2.35 goals-against average in 10 starts. Miller is coming off of a 34 save shutout against the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday, his third shutout in his last 11 starts. Lastly, a stat for all those fans that were jeering Miller earlier in the season: he is 11-1-3 with a 1.89 goals-against average in his last 15 starts.
Who is hot for the Sabres: rookie Cody Hodgson, with 4 points in his last 2 games; Thomas Vanek with 3 points in his last 2; rookie Marcus Foligno, with 7 points in his last 6 games; Jason Pominville, with 8 points in his last 8; Drew Stafford, with 9 points in his last 5; and Tyler Ennis, with 9 points in his last 6 games.