WASHINGTON LOSS CREATES HOPE
Tuesday, 04.03.2012 / 11:40 AM
- Optional morning skate today; 15 skaters and Jhonas Enroth took part.
- Nathan Gerbe and Mike Weber will both be game-time decisions.
- Brayden McNabb and TJ Brennan remain with the team; one will sit if Weber plays.
- Ryan Miller will start his 12th straight game.
- Miller’s all-time record vs. TOR: 26-14-0, 2.38 GAA & .924 save%
WHAT THEY WERE SAYING TODAY
Lindy Ruff (listen to the full audio)
Is your outlook a little better following the Washington loss last night?
When you get help, obviously it creates hope. You don’t anticipate teams losing certain games, but it always seems to happen. We’ve gotta take care of our end of it now.
What has to be better tonight compared to Saturday’s loss in Toronto?
I thought our first three or four shifts were textbook. We made the big mistake that gave them the breakaway, and gave them some life. Our big mistakes have to be less. And I don’t think at the end of the game, you shouldn’t be saying ‘I should’ve done something.’
Does Nathan Gerbe have a chance to play tonight?
It looks like it. We’re gonna have him out there in warmup and make sure that he can go. If he’s ready, he’ll play.
Will Mike Weber play too?
Mike skated this morning. Now we just need to make sure that if he’s ready, he’ll play.
Jordan Leopold (listen to the full audio)
Has the mood in the locker room changed following the Washington loss to Tampa last night?
I think we see a little bit of light. Definitely watching the scoreboard last night gives you a little bit more energy. This morning was a good optional skate for us, we had fun out there.
What’s the key to keeping Toronto off the rush?
Turnovers. If you look at our past two games, we’ve let in more than three goals each game. At this point in the year you won’t win a lot of games when you do that. Definitely the turnovers have been the main factor. Mistakes are going to happen, and that’s hockey. It’s just the way of managing mistakes and making those work out for you.
How do you overcome having both Ehrhoff and Myers out of the lineup?
We’ve seen the same scenario earlier in the season. Missing those guys is a big part of our back end. Of course, we need to find a way to win. At this point in the year we just need the two points. Whatever it takes tonight, we’ll do it.
Washington – 8th place (88 pts., 40-32-8; ROW-36)
Games Remaining: 2
Next Game: Thursday vs. FLA
Home Games: 1 (FLA-Thurs, 7 p.m.)
Away Games: 1 (NYR-Sat, 6:30 p.m.)
Buffalo – 9th place (86 pts., 38-31-10; ROW-31)
Games Remaining: 3
Next Game: Tonight vs. TOR
Home Games: 1 (TOR-Tonight)
Away Games: 2 (PHIL-Thurs, 7 p.m.; BOS-Sat, 4 p.m.)
MAPLE LEAFS at SABRES
-This is the sixth and final meeting between the Sabres and Maple Leafs this season.
-Last meeting: Toronto defeated Buffalo, 4-3, in Toronto on March 31.
-The Sabres are 4-6-0 in their last 10 games vs. the Maple Leafs; 9-1-0 at home.
-This is the 184th game all-time between Buffalo and Toronto; Buffalo leads the series with a 101-60-22 record. Buffalo is 60-25-7 at home against the Maple Leafs all-time.
-April is Buffalo’s best regular season month since the lockout, with a combined record of 22-10-2 (.676) in 34 games. The Sabres went 4-0-1 in April to finish the 2010-11 season.
-The Sabres have won 10 of their last 11 home games vs. Toronto. Buffalo has not lost the home portion of a home-and-home series with the Maple Leafs since Dec. 20, 1970 (4-2 loss). The Sabres are 8-1-2 (two ties) all-time in the home portion of these series.
-With a win, Buffalo would sweep the home schedule of their season series with Toronto for the fourth time since the Maple Leafs joined the Eastern Conference before the 1998-99 season: 1999-00 (2-0-0), 2005-06 (4-0-0) and 2009-10 (3-0-0).
THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW
Buffalo is 31-3-2 when allowing two or fewer goals and 29-6-4 when scoring three or more… Thomas Vanek has seven points (3+4) in his last seven games… Marcus Foligno was named the NHL “Rookie of the Month” for the month of March.