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WASHINGTON LOSS CREATES HOPE

Tuesday, 04.03.2012 / 11:40 AM
By Kevin Snow - Sabres.com (@kwsnow) / THE MORNING SKATE
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THE MORNING SKATE
WASHINGTON LOSS CREATES HOPE

TODAY’S NEWS
- 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.



SCHEDULE BREAKDOWN
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.)



TONIGHT’S GAME
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.

STORYLINES
-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.

SCHEDULE

HOME
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