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#72 | SABRES at PANTHERS | SAT MAR 17 | 7:30PM ET

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03-17-2012, 02:15 AM
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Woodhouse
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#72 | SABRES at PANTHERS | SAT MAR 17 | 7:30PM ET


GDT#72: SABRES (33-29-9) at PANTHERS (34-23-13) – SAT MAR 17 – 7:30PM ET – MSG-B, FS-F (Full Story)

(AP) – Barring a collapse, the Florida Panthers are headed for their first postseason appearance since 1999-2000.

The Buffalo Sabres can't afford to leave points behind like they did last game if they hope to join Florida in the playoffs.

On the verge of their longest winning streak in four years, the Panthers close out a four-game homestand Saturday
night against the Sabres, winners of four of five in this series.

Southeast Division-leading Florida (34-23-13) extended its home winning streak to four with its third consecutive
victory overall, defeating Boston 6-2 on Thursday. The Panthers have outscored opponents 17-6 during their modest
run at BankAtlantic Center.

"We want to play well at home to enthuse our fan base," coach Kevin Dineen said. "We want to be homers, be a good
home team. I think we've shown that."

Despite its recent success, Florida, which hasn't posted four consecutive victories since a seven-game run March 2-
16, 2008, knows it can't afford to take its foot off the pedal.

"These games are so crucial to everybody for that matter," center John Madden, who scored his first goal in 20 games
this season, told the team's official website "It's not going to change. It doesn't matter if you're the New York Rangers
at the top right now, you want to stay there so you have to consistency going or you're us or you're Buffalo climbing
your way back up.

"We have to keep building and looking towards playoff hockey and we have got to start now."

Only a few points outside the congested Eastern Conference playoff picture, the Sabres (33-29-9) squandered away a
point their last time out. Buffalo appeared headed for a third straight win Wednesday before Colorado scored with two
seconds remaining in regulation and ultimately won 5-4 in a shootout.

The Sabres also allowed the game-tying goal with five seconds left in the third period Monday before defeating
Montreal 3-2 in overtime.
SEKERA NEARING RETURN, WILL FORCE A SABRES DEFENSEMAN TO THE BENCH (Full Story)

(Niagara Gazette) – Ten days ago, as Andrej Sekera was preparing for warm-ups prior to the Sabres’ tilt against
Carolina, the defenseman began feeling ill.

“Just came out of nowhere,” Sekera said Friday after practicing inside the First Niagara Center. “My stomach hurt
before the game, and then it just hit me – fever, headaches.”

Sekera sat that game, and then hoped to play two nights later in Ottawa.

Instead, the Slovak’s condition “got worse and worse.” He was later diagnosed with pneumonia.

“I didn’t know what it is,” Sekera said. “Then I figured it out. I tossed it into my cell phone in Slovakian language and I
understood what it is exactly.”

The illness left Sekera bedridden for five days and short of breath. Even going upstairs was tiring. Sekera lost several
pounds, a number between “three or four and eight or 10,” he joked.

Finally, Sekera’s feeling well again and close to playing. Friday was his first full practice. He could skate tonight in
Florida against the Panthers. He’ll see how he’s feeling this morning.

“I’m getting a little bit better every day,” Sekera said. “I felt pretty good today. … I will be back to normal in a couple of
days.”

But which defenseman gets yanked if Sekera returns from his five-game absence?
POINTS LOST WITH HOME SHOOTOUT RECORD (Full Story)

(Buffalo News) – The shootout has become the biggest crapshoot in hockey and the Buffalo Sabres have numbers that
defy logic.

The Sabres are 5-0 on the road this season -- the best record in the NHL -- and are second in percentage by hitting
11 of 17 attempts. At home, they're only 2-5 and have scored on just 7 of 29. They went 0 for 3 in Wednesday's loss
to Colorado at First Niagara Center.

In part because of the shootout losses, the Sabres entered Friday tied for the NHL in home OT/shootout defeats with
eight. That's a lot of potential points lost. Buffalo has only one post-regulation loss on the road.

Home teams have the choice to shoot first or last and most go first. Sabres coach Lindy Ruff was one of the first to go
with that exclusively when given the option a few years ago.

"I like to try to apply the pressure to the other team. Get the first goal," Ruff said Friday. "I think I've done it once
where I let the other team shoot first. It might come to just switching things up though. I've thought about letting the
other team go. I've thought about standing on my head behind the bench too."

"I had no idea about those numbers," said captain Jason Pominville, one of Buffalo's regular shooters. "I don't know
why we always shoot first. I never really thought about it. I don't know if there's a difference. The coaches made the
choice early on, we stuck with it and every team kind of follows that way of doing it."
NEWCOMER WOJTEK WOLSKI PROVIDING A SPARK FOR FLORIDA PANTHERS (Full Story)

(Miami Herald) – The numbers suggest Wojtek Wolski is a player whose game improves once his scenery changes. He
vehemently disagrees with that assessment. For good reason.

In the three times the talented Panthers winger has been traded, his scoring production has increased.

When Colorado traded him to Phoenix at the deadline in 2010, Wolski ended with 18 points on six goals in the final 18
games of the regular season. Last year, Wolski scored six goals with 19 points in 39 games after being shipped to the
Rangers.

On Thursday, Wolski picked up his third goal and eighth point in 11 games since joining the Panthers last month.
Wolski came to the Panthers with no goals and three assists in nine games with the Rangers.

“I’ve always been able to put up points. It has nothing to do with a ‘change of scenery,’ ” Wolski said, shaking his
head. “People keep saying that, and I’ve always put up points. I’m not going to agree with that because I don’t think
it’s true.”

Wolski has had more than just a scenery change in being dealt to the Panthers for a third round pick in next year’s
draft. With the Rangers, Wolski was relegated to press box duty as he hadn’t played in an NHL game in more than a
month when the Panthers brought him south.

Wolski underwent sports hernia surgery in November, and by the time he returned, Rangers coach John Tortorella only
gave Wolski a sniff at the lineup. Three games from Jan. 12-15 — mostly playing on the fourth line — was all he got.



BUFFALO SABRES

Lineup News & Notes (News)

Above, LW2 is #82 Marcus Foligno. Matt Ellis (MCL), Nathan Gerbe (upper body) and Andrej Sekera (pneumonia) were
scratched in Buffalo's last game, a 5-4 shootout loss to Colorado on Wednesday. Jochen Hecht (concussion) also missed
Wednesday's game and remains on LTIR with his injury. Ellis and Gerbe will miss tonight's game, while Sekera will make
his return. Tyler Myers will serve game two of his three-game suspension for this check on Montreal's Scott Gomez. The
Sabres will start Ryan Miller in goal tonight against the Panthers.

Weekly Transactions

Buffalo recalled Brayden McNabb from AHL/Rochester on Wednesday.

According to the Stats

Buffalo are: 27-3-2 when allowing two or fewer goals; 24-4-4 when scoring three or more; 20-4-5 when Derek Roy
records a point; 18-4-1 when Christian Ehrhoff records a point; 11-1-4 when Tyler Ennis records a point; and 6-2-2 in
their last ten games.


FLORIDA PANTHERS

Lineup News & Notes (News)

Above, RW1 is #8 Wojtek Wolski and RW4 is #25 Jerred Smithson. Mike Santorelli, Jack Skille (shoulder) and Kris
Versteeg (hip) were scratched in Florida's last game, a 6-2 win over Boston on Thursday. Matt Bradley (concussion),
Dmitri Kulikov (knee) and Scottie Upshall (hernia) also missed Thursday's game. Kulikov and Versteeg will return to
the Florida lineup tonight, while Jose Theodore will get the start in goal.

Weekly Transactions

Florida returned Tyson Strachan to AHL/San Antonio on Thursday.

According to the Stats

Florida are: 6-3-1 in their last ten games.




BUFFALO SABRES

1. Can this team ACTUALLY do it? (ALL PLAYOFF CHASE DISCUSSION HERE) <15750 views>

2. Summer Roster Moves: The Speculation Thread <9000 views>

3. Myers facing hearing for Gomez hit [UPDATE: Suspended 3 games] <6000 views>


FLORIDA PANTHERS (Forum)

1. The 6 points every 5 games thread <24500 views>

2. Who's Out? When Will They Be Back? <2500 views>

3. New arena name <500 views>



A/V CLUB

03/13: Brendan Shanahan explains the three game suspension for Buffalo's Tyler Myers. <1:55>

03/15: Marcus Foligno calls into NHL Live. <5:31>

03/16: Lindy Ruff talks to the media following Buffalo's practice. <3:49>

03/16: Derek Roy talks to the media following Buffalo's practice. <1:48>

03/16: Andrej Sekera talks to the media following Buffalo's practice. <3:51>

03/16: Jason Pominville talks to the media following Buffalo's practice. <4:40>



03/17: Lindy Ruff talks to the media before Buffalo's game in Florida. <5:20>

03/17: Andrej Sekera talks to the media before Buffalo's game in Florida. <1:30>

03/17: Brian Duff previews tonight's game between Buffalo and Florida from BankAtlantic Center. <1:29>



GAMEDAY CHAT

IRC Server: irc.esper.net ... Channel: #sabres ... If you have questions: FYI - Sabres Chat


GAMEDAY STREAMS

GameCenter Live (subscription required); FirstRowSports and Wiziwig


Last edited by Woodhouse: 03-17-2012 at 04:47 PM.
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Old
03-17-2012, 02:26 AM
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drinking bleach irl
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Where you at? Where your fans? You ain't at home, *****.

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Old
03-17-2012, 03:02 AM
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Woodhouse
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  • Sekera (pneumonia) may return tonight; Gerbe (UBI) and McNabb made the trip to Florida.
  • Kulikov (knee) and Versteeg (hip) are expected to return to the Florida lineup tonight after lengthy absences.
  • Also, while not exactly game relevant, Pat LaFontaine is back in town behind the bench.

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03-17-2012, 03:16 AM
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must win

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03-17-2012, 05:39 AM
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Duddy
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a win would be dope

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03-17-2012, 06:36 AM
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Florida has been scoring goals lately. Need a perfect, boring road game tonight.

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03-17-2012, 06:36 AM
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Stop me if you have heard this one before. The Predators mascot, the Panthers mascot, and the Sabres mascot walk into a bar....and I got nothing.

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03-17-2012, 08:25 AM
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Please enter the last minute with a 2 goal lead this time. Wait, a minute may be too long for that lead. Last 10 seconds with a 2 goal lead?

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03-17-2012, 09:47 AM
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Win tonight, make the playoffs. That's the way I'm looking at this game.

Hodgson breaks out. That's all I've got. Let's go Buffalo.

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03-17-2012, 10:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loods View Post
Hodgson breaks out. That's all I've got. Let's go Buffalo.
Say it enough times, it'll come true, right?

I do agree, it's either a victory or death kind of game. So who will show up, the desperate team or the mental midgets? We all know what things will need to happen in the off-season if it's the latter...

I'll give you a hint: Geordie LaForge has said the phrase quite a few times, saving the Enterprise from a gigantic, explosive death.

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03-17-2012, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by omglolnub View Post
I do agree, it's either a victory or death kind of game. So who will show up, the desperate team or the mental midgets? We all know what things will need to happen in the off-season if it's the latter...
At first I thought you meant Florida was the desperate team and Sabres were the mental midgets (and whoever shows up wins). For some reason "desperate team" just never registered as the Sabres for me.


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03-17-2012, 11:07 AM
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I'll be there with the fam. Good seats too. 12 rows up behind the end Sabres shoot twice.

Huge game.

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03-17-2012, 11:09 AM
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Who is that Thomas Vanek guy that is supposedly playing on the third line?

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03-17-2012, 11:12 AM
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Just keep Vanek the hell away from Roy

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03-17-2012, 11:13 AM
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Quote:
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Just keep Vanek the hell away from Roy
Indeed, but knowing Ruff 23-19-26 will probably last like.... half a period?

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03-17-2012, 11:43 AM
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Vanek playing Hodgson. That could be interesting.

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03-17-2012, 12:24 PM
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I feel that if Hodgson does start to come along, it really changes the complexion of that team. I also feel like that won't start happening until at least next season.

Huge game tonight. I hope Rej can play, and maybe Lindy will sit Weber instead of McNabb.

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03-17-2012, 12:25 PM
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Per Vogl (@BuffNewsVogl):
Quote:
Andrej Sekera will return for Sabres. Brayden McNabb will sit. Nathan Gerbe is out.

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03-17-2012, 12:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by omglolnub View Post
I'll give you a hint: Geordie LaForge has said the phrase quite a few times, saving the Enterprise from a gigantic, explosive death.
"Wait a second... if we can reroute auxiliary power to the isolinear couplings, then just MAYBE we can squeeze out enough power to the tachyon emitters in a pulse-fluctuation. Captain - this might just work."

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03-17-2012, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
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"Wait a second... if we can reroute auxiliary power to the isolinear couplings, then just MAYBE we can squeeze out enough power to the tachyon emitters in a pulse-fluctuation. Captain - this might just work."
Dilithium Crystals?

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03-17-2012, 12:43 PM
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Taro Tsujimoto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buffalosabresgal View Post
Per Vogl (@BuffNewsVogl):
Should've scratched Weber instead of McNabb.

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03-17-2012, 12:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buffalo Costanza View Post
Just keep Vanek the hell away from Roy
And vice versa. Vanek has been hot dog**** for awhile and is dragging down his linemates. Maybe he'll even feign effort tonight. That'd be nice of him.

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03-17-2012, 12:59 PM
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Should've scratched Weber instead of McNabb.
That would've been the sensible decision..

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03-17-2012, 01:00 PM
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thefifagod
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taro Tsujimoto View Post
Should've scratched Weber instead of McNabb.
He'll be out when Myers is back from suspension. I do agree though.

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Old
03-17-2012, 01:17 PM
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getting Sekera back is huge. It means you can really limit Weber's ice time. Put him out there against 4th liners and that's it.

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