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SABRES-FLYERS MORNING SKATE UPDATE

Friday, 04.08.2011 / 1:00 PM
By Rob Crean - Public Relations Director / BEYOND THE BOARDS
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BEYOND THE BOARDS
SABRES-FLYERS MORNING SKATE UPDATE

The Sabres will play their 41st and final home game of the regular season tonight needing to gain just one point to clinch a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.  Standing in the way are the Philadelphia Flyers.

I would anticipate everything about this game to have a playoff-type atmosphere and energy and emotion that comes with playing those types of games." - Lindy Ruff on tonight's game vs. Philadelphia
“I would anticipate everything about this game to have a playoff-type atmosphere and energy and emotion that comes with playing those types of games,” said Head Coach Lindy Ruff.  “It’s a great day, it’s a great day for the alumni. For us, it’s game day as usual.”

The opportunity to secure a spot in the postseason is the result of an impressive turnaround for the Sabres.  After a 3-9-2 start to the season, as well as an 0-6-1 start on home ice, Buffalo turned in a remarkable effort to climb back into playoff contention.  Since Dec. 28, when the team was 14-18-4, they have gone 27-11-6.

“It’s been great considering the way that we started the year,” said Drew Stafford.  “There might be a lot of people that might have doubted us considering the start we had.  It’s pretty cool to see that really none of that matters now.  We’ve been in the driver’s seat for a while now controlling where we end up, so it’s just a matter of finishing strong.”

Ryan Miller, who has missed the last four games with an upper body injury, participated in the morning skate, but Ruff would give no indication as to whether Miller or Jhonas Enroth would start in goal for tonight’s showdown with the Flyers.

While Miller has been sidelined, Enroth has performed more than capably between the pipes, leading the Sabres to a 3-0-1 record while posting a 1.96 goals against average and a .932 save percentage.

Patrick Kaleta has been cleared by the medical staff to return to game action after missing the last 15 games with a bone bruise in his leg, but Ruff declined to say whether Kaleta would play tonight or not.

Below is the Sabres’ clinching scenario entering play tonight, per the NHL:

The #7 Buffalo Sabres would clinch an Eastern Conference playoff berth...
* if they get at least one point against the Philadelphia Flyers
OR
* if the Carolina Hurricanes lose to the Atlanta Thrashers in regulation, overtime or
shootout.



SCHEDULE

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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