Sabres Finish 3 Game Roady With Trip To Panthers

@ 7:30 PM

Last Game:

Florida: Mar 26 at Maple Leafs Loss 3-2

Buffalo: Mar 26 at Lightning Loss 2-1

Record:

Florida: 9-19-6

Buffalo: 13-16-4

Points:

Florida: 24

Buffalo: 30

Rank In Conference:

Florida: 15th

Buffalo: 12th

Power Play Ranking:

Florida: 17.9(16th)

Buffalo: 12.5(30th)

Penalty Kill Ratings:

Florida: 74.0(30th)

Buffalo: 77.7(26th)

Goals For:

Florida: 79(T-24th)

Buffalo: 83(T-18th)

Goals Against:

Florida: 118(30th)

Buffalo: 100(27th)

Shots For:

Florida: 1019(4th)

Buffalo: 937(15th)

Shots Against:

Florida: 1049(26th)

Buffalo: 1083(28th)

Blocked Shots:

Florida: 449(20th)

Buffalo: 522(4th)

Hits:

Florida: 765(14th)

Buffalo: 728(18th)

Face-Off Percentage:

Florida: 49.7(18th)

Buffalo: 45.5(29th)

Team Leaders:

Goals:

Florida: Kopecky and Huberdeau(12), Matthias(10), Fleischmann, Mueller, and B. Campbell(7), Goc(4)

Buffalo: Vanek(16), Hodgson(12), Pominville(10), Ennis(9)

Assists:

Florida: Fleischmann(14), B. Campbell(12), Kopecky, Huberdeau, and Shore(9), Goc and Skille(8)

Buffalo: Vanek(17), Hodgson(16), Ennis(15), Pominville(13)

Points:

Florida: Kopecky, Huberdeau, and Fleischmann(21), B. Campbell(19), Matthias and Mueller(13), Goc(12)

Buffalo: Vanek(33), Hodgson(28), Ennis(24), Pominville(23)

Plus/Minus:

Florida: Matthias(+1), Skille, Robak, Rheault, Rallo, Timmins, and Selleck(EV), Yonkman and Caruso(-1), Brennan(-2)

Buffalo: Ehrhoff(+7), Vanek(+5), Ott and Hecht(+4), Sulzer and Flynn(+3)

Penalty Minutes:

Florida: Parros(34), Strachen(31), Kopecky(26), Weiss(25)

Buffalo: Ott(61), Kaleta(53), Weber(52), Scott(48)

Shots:

Florida: Mueller(106), Huberdeau(91), Fleischmann(89), Shore(78)

Buffalo: Vanek(94), Pominville(86), Hodgson(83), Ennis(82)

Blocked Shots:

Florida: B. Campbell(51), Kuba(49), Strachen(47), Weaver(38)

Buffalo: Ehrhoff(61), Weber(57), Sekera(51), Regehr(47)

Hits:

Florida: Smithson and Strachen(75), Skille(74), Gudbranson(64), Kulikov(55)

Buffalo: Ott(137), Weber(83), Foligno(71), Kaleta(55)

Face-Off Wins:

Florida: Goc(252), Shore(172), Smithson(171), Weiss(141)

Buffalo: Hodgson(281), Ott(190), Ennis(130), Hecht(91)

Today Starting Goaltender Matchup:

Florida: Jacob Markstrom 3-7-1 2.59 GAA .921 SV% 0 SO

Buffalo: Ryan Miller 11-14-4 2.88 GAA .911 SV% 0 SO

Notes:

Last Meeting: Feb 28 Sabres Won(SO) 4-3

Season Series: Panthers Lead 1-0-1

All-Time: Sabres Lead 43-28-5

All-Time at FLA: Sabres Lead 19-17-2

Lightning hold off Sabres

The Tampa Bay Lightning gave their new coach something to be optimistic about.

With Jon Cooper watching the team he’ll officially begin coaching on Wednesday, the Lightning put together an energetic effort and held off the Buffalo Sabres 2-1 on Tuesday night at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

Cooper told the media before the game that he thought the Lightning still had a chance to make the playoffs. A few more efforts like this one and he might be right. With Mathieu Garon solid in net and Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis providing the offense, the Lightning showed little resemblance to the lackadaisical group that helped get former coach Guy Boucher fired. The Lightning were the aggressors all night, winning the battles for loose pucks and backchecking forcefully as they limited the Sabres to a season-low 14 shots on goal.

“Obviously, these guys are at a point where they’ve played hard and not have much to show for it as a group,” said Dan Lacroix, one of three assistant coaches who ran the team for the second straight game. “Trying to get two points and finally have smiles after a game and not just say that they worked hard tonight but there is nothing to show for it. Having a new coach watching probably helped a lot.

“I thought the intensity was there. The work ethic was there. Guys played extremely hard for each other and they showed that they care. They care about the team and the results.”

In addition to seeing another much-needed two points vanish, Buffalo also lost its top scorer, Thomas Vanek, who left the ice during the third period with an upper-body injury and did not return.

Tampa Bay had just two shots in the opening period, but grabbed a 1-0 lead at 16:01 when Stamkos backed into the left circle to find some space, took a pass from St. Louis and one-timed the puck over Ryan Miller’s glove. It was Stamkos’ League-leading 23rd goal of the season of the season.

“It feels great,” Stamkos said. “We wanted the puck today. We made plays and it showed out there.”

http://www.nhl.com/ice/recap.htm?id=2012020484&navid=sb:recap

Lupul scores twice; Maple Leafs defeat Panthers

It has been an interesting season for Joffrey Lupul, to say the least.

The veteran right-shooting left wing broke his arm in the Toronto Maple Leafs’ fourth game of the season when he was nailed with an errant Dion Phaneuf slap shot, missed 25 games, then stormed back with three goals in two games before being suspended for two for an illegal hit.

“It’s a running joke with our team that he only stays for five games at a time,” said Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle, who took over from Ron Wilson late last season just before Lupul was lost with a shoulder injury. “Since I started coaching he’s only been in the lineup for 10 games. He got hurt last year then again this year, and then he got suspended.”

Since returning from the suspension, Lupul has picked right up where left off, scoring twice Tuesday night in a 3-2 nail-biter against the visiting Florida Panthers.

The Panthers, who have been decimated with injuries and are last in the overall standings, gave the Maple Leafs a tough test. Despite a slow start, Toronto managed to win its third straight at home behind 40 saves from Ben Scrivens.

Lupul, who scored once in a 3-2 shootout loss at the Boston Bruins on Monday, opened Tuesday night on a line with Nazem Kadri and Nikolai Kulemin. But when the Maple Leafs were outshot 16-7 in the first period and failed to generate any serious offense, Lupul was placed on a line with old mates Phil Kessel and Tyler Bozak. The trio worked instant magic.

“It was just a little shakeup,” Lupul said. “Things were a little stagnant for us in the first period, and I don’t know if it’s a permanent change, but sometimes a little switch can freshen everybody up. That’s what happened.”

Lupul, the seventh pick by the Anaheim Ducks in the 2002 NHL Draft, was well on his way to an all-star selection last season when the shoulder injury brought an abrupt end to his year. It would not be a stretch to suggest he was the best left wing in the NHL at the time of his injury, and he’s working to get back to that level.

“I probably didn’t expect this sort of start stats-wise, but I did put in a lot of work during the six weeks was out,” said Lupul, who has six goals and an assist in four games since March 16. “I did a lot of extra work on my skating, and that’s what feels different in my game now. I feel faster and my conditioning is pretty good.”

http://www.nhl.com/ice/recap.htm?id=2012020479&navid=sb:recap

This Day In Sabres History:

March 28, 1979

Rick Martin scores the 20th hat trick of his Sabres’ career in a 9-2 thumping of the Bruins in Boston Garden.

Injury Report:

Florida: Caruso Broken Wrist(IR/Out), Weaver Lower Body(IR/Out), Theodore Torn Right Groin(IR/Out), Weiss Wrist Surgery(IR/Out), Versteeg Right Knee Surgery(IR/Out), Parros Upper Body(IR/Out), Jovanovski Lower Body(IR/Out), Skille Upper Body(IR/Out), Bergenheim Undisclosed(Out)

Buffalo: Sulzer Right Knee Surgery(IR/Out), Sekera Upper Body(Questionable), Vanek Lower Body(Questionable)

Next 5 Games:

Mar 30 vs. Washington Capitals 7:00 PM(MSG HD)

Mar 31 vs. Boston Bruins 7:00 PM(MSG HD/NBCSN HD/TSN HD)

Apr 2 at Pittsburgh Penguins 7:30 PM(NBCSN HD)

Apr 5 vs. Ottawa Senators 7:00 PM(MSG HD)

Apr 7 vs. New Jersey Devils 7:30 PM(NBCSN HD)

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