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MORNING SKATE UPDATE: EXCITEMENT BUILDING FOR TONIGHT'S GAME

Wednesday, 02.23.2011 / 12:09 PM / News
By Rob Crean  - Public Relations Director
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MORNING SKATE UPDATE: EXCITEMENT BUILDING FOR TONIGHT\'S GAME
One day after Terry Pegula’s emotional introductory press conference as the new owner of the Buffalo Sabres, the team is set to return to the ice for a meeting with the Atlanta Thrashers tonight at HSBC Arena, where the excitement from Tuesday’s events is expected to carry over.

“I think it’s going to be at just an all-time high for tonight,” Head Coach Lindy Ruff said of the intensity level he anticipates in the Arena tonight as the Sabres look to end a three-game losing streak.  “That’s just my read on it, so I’m excited. I can’t wait to get in the building tonight.”

Jason Pominville
“I think everybody’s excited,” said Jason Pominville, who scored Buffalo’s lone goal in Sunday’s loss to Washington.  “Yesterday was a big day for the Pegula family, for the organization, for the fans, the city, I mean everybody’s excited about it. The players are.  We’re playing against a team that is right there with us, it’s one of those four-point games, so the excitement definitely should be there.”

The Sabres (27-25-6) and Thrashers (25-25-10) are tied in the standings with 60 points apiece, although Buffalo has two games in hand.

“This game has a lot like a playoff feel to it,” said Ruff.  “They’re desperate for a win, we’re desperate for a win. We know we need to play well.  We need to play a lot better.  We had a great day yesterday and hopefully all that focus goes into tonight’s game.”

2/23 - Lindy Ruff Pregame

Ruff said the group of six defensemen will remain the same as they were for Sunday’s game against Washington, meaning Chris Butler will be in for Andrej Sekera on the blue line again.  Ruff also touched on a few changes among the forward lines, including flipping Thomas Vanek to right wing and matching Pominville with Tim Connolly and Drew Stafford.

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