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Sabres Start Important Road Trip With Visit To The Panthers

@ 7:30 PM

Last Game:

Florida: Mar 15 vs. Bruins Win 6-2

Buffalo: Mar 14 vs. Avalanche Loss(SO) 5-4

Record:

Florida: 34-23-13

Buffalo: 33-29-9

Points:

Florida: 81

Buffalo: 75

Rank In Conference:

Florida: 3rd

Buffalo: 10th

Power Play Ranking:

Florida: 18.9(10th)

Buffalo: 15.5(24th)

Penalty Kill Ranking:

Florida: 79.7(24th)

Buffalo: 81.9(T-16th)

Goals For:

Florida: 173(25th)

Buffalo: 171(26th)

Goals Against:

Florida: 187(14th)

Buffalo: 196(22nd)

Shots For:

Florida: 2097(13th)

Buffalo: 2049(19th)

Shots Against:

Florida: 2142(20th)

Buffalo: 2233(28th)

Blocked Shots:

Florida: 903(24th)

Buffalo: 917(21st)

Hits:

Florida: 1597(16th)

Buffalo: 1297(29th)

Faceoff Percentage:

Florida: 50.6(12th)

Buffalo: 49.2(20th)

Team Leaders:

Goals:

Florida: Fleischmann and Versteeg(22), Weiss(17), Bergenheim(16), Garrison(15)

Buffalo: Pominville(25), Vanek(23), Hodgson(16), Roy and Stafford(14)

Assists:

Florida: B. Campbell(43), Weiss(33), Fleischmann(29), Versteeg(27)

Buffalo: Pominville(38), Vanek(27), Ehrhoff(25), Roy and Stafford(24)

Points:

Florida: Fleischmann(51), Weiss(50), Versteeg(49), B. Campbell(47)

Buffalo: Pominville(63), Vanek(50), Roy and Stafford(38), Hodgson(33)

Plus/Minus:

Florida: Garrison(+10), Weiss(+7), Goc(+5), Versteeg, Weaver, and M. Cullen(+2)

Buffalo: Sulzer(+8), Ennis(+7), Hodgson(+4), Gerbe and Foligno(+3)

Penalty Minutes:

Florida: Barch(112), Gudbranson(69), Weiss(54) Bergenheim(44)

Buffalo: Kaleta(114), Weber(53), Roy(50), McCormick(49)

Shots:

Florida: Fleischmann(189), Versteeg(152), Bergenheim(151), Garrison(144)

Buffalo: Pominville(192), Stafford(187), Vanek(183), Roy(148)

Blocked Shots:

Florida: Weaver(121), Garrison(109), Campbell(98), Ellerby(98)

Buffalo: Leopold(104), Regehr(91), Sekera(79), Weber(77)

Hits:

Florida: Bradley(134), Gudbranson(120), Smithson(117), Garrison(111)

Buffalo: Regehr(155), Kaleta(124), Weber(110), Stafford(88)

Face-Off Wins:

Florida: Weiss(663), Goc(406), Smithson(338), Matthias(256)

Buffalo: Roy(565), Hodgson(232), Pominville(170), Hecht(136)

Today’s Starting Goaltender Matchup:

Florida: Jose Theodore 21-13-7 2.40 GAA .920 SV% 3 SO

Buffalo:  Ryan Miller 24-18-5 2.59 GAA .915 SV% 5 SO

Notes:

Last Meeting: Dec 9 Sabres Won(OT) 2-1

Season Series: Sabres Lead 2-1-0

All-Time: Sabres Lead 42-25-4

All-Time at FLA: Sabres Lead 18-15-1

Panthers rout reeling Bruins 6-2

There were no easy answers after Thursday night’s game at the BankAtlantic Center.

In one dressing room, center Stephen Weiss couldn’t really say why the Florida Panthers suddenly have become dynamic on offense. In the other, the Boston Bruins were at a loss to explain their dismal showing of late.

Weiss was one of six players to score for Florida as the Panthers routed the Bruins 6-2.

With the victory, Florida moved within two points of the Bruins for the second seed position in the Eastern Conference standings. The Panthers also extended their lead over idle Washington in the Southeast Division to three points; each team has 12 games remaining.

“It’s realistic now that we can catch some teams,” Weiss said. “We’ve got to stop looking behind and start looking forward and push ourselves that way. It makes it easier, too, when you’re looking ahead instead of always looking back to who’s chasing you.”

Weiss, Marcel Goc and Mikael Samuelsson each had a goal and an assist for the  Panthers, who beat the Bruins at home for the first time in six games over the last three seasons. John Madden, Tomas Kopecky and Wojtek Wolski had the other Florida goals and defenseman Brian Campbell had three assists.

It was the first time in 43 games since Dec. 5 that the Panthers scored at least five goals against a team other than Toronto. The Panthers had five goals in each of their three games against the Maple Leafs since that Dec. 5 game against Washington, including a 5-2 victory on Tuesday.

http://www.nhl.com/ice/recap.htm?id=2011021057&navid=sb:recap

Avs rally in final seconds, top Sabres in shootout

Semyon Varlamov may not like the shootout, but the two seem to be getting along just fine.

The Colorado Avalanche goaltender stopped all Buffalo three chances and improved to 8-0 in the shootout this season in a 5-4 victory against the Sabres at the First Niagara Center on Wednesday night.

Varlamov, who was acquired from Washington last summer, has stopped 22 of 24 attempts this season.

“I jumped in the air like we won the Stanley Cup,” Varlamov said. “It was huge. We never gave up.”

Peter Mueller scored the deciding goal in the second round of the shootout for the Avs, who have now won three in a row and reached the 80-point plateau. Mueller ripped a quick wrist shot just under the glove of Sabres goalie Ryan Miller, who stopped 38 of 42 shots through regulation and overtime.

“This is the biggest win of the year,” Mueller said. “To go from zero points to getting two with seconds left, you don’t make that stuff up. It just shows the character of this team in that we never quit.”

Newcomer Jamie McGinn continued his torrid scoring pace with a pair of goals, including a game-tying tally with just 2.0 seconds left in regulation. David Jones and Gabriel Landeskog also scored for Colorado, while Paul Stastny had a pair of assists and Varlamov made 20 saves.

Marcus Foligno scored twice, Drew Stafford added a goal and two assists, Alexander Sulzer scored and Ennis had three assists for the Sabres, who now trail eighth-place Washington by three points in the Eastern Conference.

“Frustrating,” coach Lindy Ruff said of the lost point. “You play with fire, you’ll get burned. We should have had a D in front of the net, and one of the defensemen were behind the net.”

http://www.nhl.com/ice/recap.htm?id=2011021046&navid=sb:recap

This Day In Sabres History:

March 17, 1991 Sabres Snap 12 Game Winless Streak at home with 6-1 win over Whalers

On this Day 21 years ago the Sabres broke a long streak of Futility with a 6-1 win over the Hartford Whalers. The Sabres were on streak of 12 straight games without a win on Home Ice. Darrin Shannon scored twice and the Sabres also got goals from Dave Andreychuk, Dale Hawerchuk, Grant Ledyard, and Ken Sutton. Hawerchuk finished the night with 5 points(1 G, 4 A). Darcy Wakaluk got the Win stopping 21 Whalers shots. The Sabres last home win before this night came January 22nd vs Boston Bruins which was a 6-4 victory. The Sabres would make the playoffs later in the season getting knocked out by the Montreal Canadiens in 6 Games.

Injury Report:

Florida: Kulikov Knee Surgery(IR/Out), Upshall Sports Hernia Surgery(IR/Out), Bradley Upper Body(IR/Out), Versteeg Lower Body(Out), Skille Shoulder(Out)

Buffalo: Hecht Concussion(IR/Out), Ellis Knee(Out), Gerbe Upper Body(Questionable), Sekera Flu(Questionable)

Next 5 Games:

Mar 19 at Tampa Bay Lightning 7:30 PM(MSG HD)

Mar 21 vs. Montreal Canadiens 7:00 PM(MSG HD)

Mar 23 at New York Rangers 7:00 PM(MSG HD)

Mar 24 vs. Minnesota Wild 7:00 PM(MSG HD)

Mar 27 at Washington Capitals 7:00 PM(MSG HD)

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