Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Buffalo Sabres PreGame Skate: Florida Panthers

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Remember the days when we use to follow the Buffalo Sabres down to Florida hoping the team would split the trip and come home with at least two points?  Gone are those days, at least for this season, as the Sabres need a win tonight in regulation to make the Florida trip 2-0.

They were able to outlast the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday night, winning a game they had no business winning.  Tonight they skate into the sunrise, to take on the Florida Panthers.

It looks like Ron Rolston is finally giving John Scott the ice time that he deserves – being the odd man out in the forward rotation.  I read this morning on HockeyBuzz.com that Rolston should favor Scott in the lineup and sit Jochen Hecht who has gone scoreless in 20 games with the blue and gold.  I damn near fell out of my chair.  Are you really championing for a game in the press box for Hecht so John Scott gets more ice time.  Sure Hecht has been in absentia since rejoining the team at the start of the season – but I would rather have Hecht on the bench over Scott any day of the week.

It is not often this year that the Buffalo Sabres can look at the pregame notes and face a team that has won less than they have in the last ten games.  While their 4-6 record is nothing to celebrate, the Florida Panthers come into tonights contest 3-4-3.  They still have managed more points than the Sabres over the last ten games, but winning has been a problem.

Buffalo will be trying to build off the minimal momentum they gained on Tuesday night getting interim head  coach Ron Rolston his first career NHL win as a coach.  With his second win, and the Buffalo Sabres first two game winning streak in a long time, the Buffalo Sabres can climb out of the basement and into the 12th place spot in the Eastern Conference.  Despite their horrible record, the Buffalo Sabres should not count themselves out of the playoffs just yet.  The tightly compacted Eastern Conference is allowing them to stay in consideration.  Buffalo is only six points behind the eighth place Philadelphia Flyers – with two games in hand on the Broad Street boys.

Game time tonight is scheduled for 7:30.

OUT OF TOWN SCOREBOARD WATCH

Plenty of Eastern Conference action tonight.  If the Buffalo Sabres want to create some magic and make the most out of one of the worst starts in franchise history – they will need a lot of help from the out of town scoreboard on any given night.

Boston Bruins vs Ottawa Senators – Boston looks to continue to gain ground on the top spot in the Northeast Division.  Ottawa looks to maintain their pace, despite key injuries.

Toronto Maple Leafs vs New York Islanders – it’s not too often you want to root for the Leafs, but the Islanders are only two points ahead of the Buffalo Sabres.  A win tonight for the Leafs makes it tough for Buffalo to climb in the division, but will help them make ground on the final playoff spot in the East.

Tampa Bay Lightning vs New York Rangers – another tough game for the Sabres to watch as both teams are within striking distance.  The Rangers are three points up on the Sabres, and the Lightning are four.

New Jersey Devils vs Winnipeg Jets – the Jets are nestled nicely just two points out of the eight place spot.  A Devils win tonight keeps the Jets close to the Buffalo Sabres point wise.

 

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Tags: Buffalo Sabres Florida Panthers

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