Mar 5, 2012, 2:29 PM EDT
With the NHL playoff race getting down to the wire, we’ll be providing regular updates on each bubble team’s postseason push.
Bubble team: Buffalo Sabres
Where they stand: 11th in the East, two points back of eighth-place Winnipeg.
Games remaining: 17
SportsClubStats.com says: 14.1% chance of making the playoffs
Why they’ll get in:
They’re getting hot at the right time. The Sabres defeated Vancouver Saturday to improve their record to 6-0-1 in their last seven games. Goalie Ryan Miller has been brilliant during that stretch and was just named the NHL’s first star of the week. On paper, Buffalo is a playoff team. It’s battled injuries all season, but is healthy now.
Why they won’t:
A tough schedule that includes two trips to Boston and one to Madison Square Garden.
“We’re battling hard to get back in the picture. When you can beat a team that’s basically the first-place team in the league, it’s a big plus.” – coach Lindy Ruff after Saturday’s 5-3 victory over the Canucks.
Biggest game coming up:
- Tough times in Tampa: Garrison out 3-4 weeks after ‘pretty dirty’ Abdelkader hit 5
- Playoff watch — what the bubble teams need to do 15
- NHL on NBCSN: Stakes high for Kings, ‘Hawks tonight 14
- Blackhawks’ Sharp: ‘We knew we had to get two points’ 12
- Video: Brian Engblom takes a puck to the head 13
- Flames jump back into third in Pacific, beat Preds 6
- Letang concussed, Penguins will dress five defensemen 18
- NHL on NBCSN: Sharks desperate for wins, Penguins seek definitive end to slump 7
- Video: Bolts lose Garrison, Paquette in loss to Wings 4
- Bruins ruin Lundqvist’s return 28