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MORNING SKATE UPDATE - 3/19 VS. ATLANTA

Saturday, 03.19.2011 / 12:24 PM
By Rob Crean - Public Relations Director / BEYOND THE BOARDS
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BEYOND THE BOARDS
MORNING SKATE UPDATE - 3\/19 VS. ATLANTA

For the second straight game, the Sabres will host an opponent they lead by four points in the standings.  Like Carolina on Tuesday, the Atlanta Thrashers enter tonight’s game in Buffalo with 72 points to the Sabres’ 76.  Buffalo currently occupies the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, but is now tied in points with the Hurricanes. 

Following today’s morning skate, Lindy Ruff talked about the importance of tonight’s matchup with the Trashers.

“I’m not going to hide from the fact that this game means a lot to us.  This is a big game for us.  After losing a real tough one where it could have been a game we could have had, we didn’t get it, now our answer has to be an even bigger effort and better finish,” Ruff said.

Entering play tonight, the Sabres lead a group of teams (Carolina, Atlanta, Toronto, New Jersey) that are separated by six points in the standings and have either one or two games in-hand on all of them.

“We’re in great position. We just have to win games,” said Ruff.  “We don’t have to look over our shoulder, we just have to put the work in – the emphasis being ‘work.’  If we put the work in and create the opportunities, our key guys are going to have to finish, are going to have to take advantage of those situations, but it starts with getting the work done.

“We’re in a best-of-12 right now, where you go 7-5, or if you really want to be in good shape, you go 8-4.  But these are the situations you want to see how your players react.  You want to see if they can handle that one great opportunity to make a difference in the game.”

Nathan Gerbe, who appeared in two postseason games for the Sabres last season, talked about the excitement of the playoff race.

“This is by far the best time of the year. It doesn’t matter what league you’re in, if it’s the American League, college… playoff time is fun. That’s when it matters, that’s when it counts, and that’s when everyone steps up their game.”



Despite firing 40 shots at Cam Ward on Tuesday, the Sabres were shutout for the fifth time this season.  Brad Boyes talked about what the Sabres need to do to put pucks in the net.

“The biggest thing that Lindy talked about is getting more traffic at the net, we worked on that a little bit the other day in practice, and I think that’s key, that’s important.  Getting more traffic, getting a couple ugly goals, things like that, because now we need any type of goal, any way it goes in,” Boyes said.

SCHEDULE

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AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Hodgson 72 20 24 -26 44
T. Ennis 80 21 22 -25 43
D. Stafford 70 16 18 -19 34
C. Ehrhoff 79 6 27 -27 33
C. Stewart 63 15 11 0 26
C. Conacher 79 7 19 1 26
T. Myers 62 9 13 -26 22
Z. Girgensons 70 8 14 -6 22
M. Foligno 74 7 12 -17 19
J. McBain 69 6 11 -13 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
M. Neuvirth 4 8 2 .921 2.78
J. Enroth 4 17 5 .911 2.82