Mar 23 2012; New York, NY, USA; Buffalo Sabres left wing Tyler Ennis (63) celebrates after scoring a goal during the third period against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. Sabres won 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE

PreGame Skate- Minnesota Wild

It is starting to annoy me to call games a must win, but since the Sabres took up residency in 15th place in the Eastern Conference in February, every game has become a game seven.  After last nights test of what a real playoff team looks like, the Sabres must be feeling pretty good about where they stand.  With a decisive win over the Rangers and a loss by Ottawa and D.C., the Buffalo Sabres are two points out of 7th.  Feels good man.  Tonight is the most important game of the season since last night and will be the most important game of the season until Tuesday.  The Sabres play the Minnesota Wild at 7:00 p.m. EST at the First Niagara Center in the Cheerio sweet air of downtown Buffalo.

The Sabres have been fun to watch this past month.  Ryan Miller has played like a world beater, the Ennis, Stafford, Foligno line has set the goal sheet on fire and the D-men have been stout.  After last night, it will be tough for the Sabres to replicate the energy and passion they showed 24 hours prior.  A low risk, conservative game might be just what the doctor ordered to walk out of First Niagara with 2 regulation points.  I expect Pominville to play big tonight, because how can you not at this point in the season.  Seeing defensive heroics from players like Erhoff and Myers like they had last night would be great but also, it might not be needed.  The Minnesota Wild are not an offensive juggernaut.

Speaking of the Wild, much like the Sabres, they started out the season hot, but unlike the Sabres, they are still lukewarm, and haven’t been hot since December.  However, they have won their last two and hope to make it three tonight.  The Wild could play spoiler to the Capitals or the Sabres this weekend, if they can walk away with a win from either of the teams.  The Wild, after being first place in the NHL early in the season this is what the Wild have been most famous for recently.  Unfortunate for the team and Devin Setoguchi, but with Mikko Koivu back, and the playoffs looking like a distant memory, expect the low scoring Wild to be playing with pride.

Other games of importance: As mentioned earlier, the Wild play the Caps tomorrow.  We want the Wild to go 1-1 this weekend.  The Ottawa Senators play the Pittsburgh Malkins Crosbys Penguins tonight.  Lets feel real dirty for a minute and say it together, Go Pens, Go.  If the Sabres win tonight and the Senators and the Capitals lose their games this weekend, the Sabres will be tied for seventh in the East.  Feels good man.

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Tags: Devin Setoguchi Mikko Koivu Minnesota Wild Ottawa Senators Pittsburgh Penguins Pregame Skate Rangers Ryan Miller Stanley Cup Playoffs Tyler Ennis Tyler Myers Washington Capitals

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