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Sabres facing playoff elimination tonight against Rangers

Apr 19, 2013, 1:56 PM EDT

SabresCelebrate

Winners of three straight and six of their last 10, the Buffalo Sabres are clinging to their playoff lives.

Tonight, they’ll need a victory to keep clinging a little longer.

Buffalo faces a must-win at First Niagara Center against the equally desperate New York Rangers — if the Rangers win in regulation, the Sabres’ playoff hopes are dead.

“You want to play in these games, especially when you’re developing the kind of mentality that you need to play in this League,” head coach Ron Rolston told NHL.com. “You want to test your team in those situations and [Friday's] another test [against a] high-caliber opponent in a situation where you need to be successful.”

The Sabres currently sit 10th in the Eastern Conference with 44 points, four back of New York (48 points). Buffalo has four games left in the regular season including tonight’s affair, while New York has five.

Historically speaking, getting a result against the Rangers tonight should be doable. The Sabres have collected three of four possible points against the Blueshirts this season and won the most recent matchup, 3-1, at First Niagara on Mar. 12.

After tonight’s game, though, the Sabres are facing a tall order.

They’ll head to Pittsburgh on Saturday night to take on the Penguins, then close out against two teams desperate for points in their own respective playoff chases — the Winnipeg Jets and the New York Islanders.

Of course, those games are meaningless if Buffalo doesn’t get a result tonight.

Just ask Rolston.

“We have to take care of our own destiny,” he explained. “We’ve been that way for a while, just concentrating on one game and playing our best in that game.”

  1. travishenryskid - Apr 19, 2013 at 2:18 PM

    Actually, the only way they are eliminated is with a regulation loss.

  2. travishenryskid - Apr 19, 2013 at 2:19 PM

    Actually, the only way they are eliminated is with a regulation loss, mathematically speaking. Practically speaking, they are already eliminated.

    • Mike Halford - Apr 19, 2013 at 2:32 PM

      FYI, there were conflicting reports about the necessity of a regulation win tonight. Yes, the Sabres are officially eliminated with a regulation loss. There were initial reports suggesting they’d also be done with anything less than a regulation win, but those appear to be erroneous.

      Anyway, the post has been updated to reflect as much.

  3. elemeno89 - Apr 19, 2013 at 2:27 PM

    Going to sit back and kick my feet up to watch how my fellow sabre fans complain about this one. Only a matter of time until the poop hits the fan.

    inb4:

    Fire Regier, Trade Miller, Trade Vanek, Regier chould have been fired not Ruff, Draft position complaining, missing the playoffs in the last few seasons, Pegula not being a good owner, Black caring more about money than the franchise championship goals.

  4. philk0731 - Apr 19, 2013 at 2:44 PM

    Don’t worry, the Rangers scored 6 last night so they’re due to get shut-out again. Seen it happen too many times this season.

  5. thedavesiknowiknow - Apr 19, 2013 at 4:21 PM

    It’s more of a formal elimination. Even if they win out, that only gives roughly a 20% chance of getting in. (as of last night- I don’t know what games of relevance are being played tonight).

  6. billsin20xx - Apr 19, 2013 at 4:38 PM

    Please let them lose to
    night and put this stupid playoff dream to rest. Then maybe they will be able to tank the rest of the year to improve their drat position. This is a typical Regier team move, but just good/bad enough to compete for the last playoff spot so they end up with a mediocre draft choice instead of a good one.

    Yes, I’ll say it FIRE REGIER!! don’t let him rebuild the mess he created.

    And does anybody really want to see them in the playoffs? is there a mercy rule with how bad they will get wiped out?

  7. Helper Sports - Apr 19, 2013 at 7:35 PM

    The Sabres made this mess, now the have 60 minutes to dig their way out, or its all over for this year. http://helpersports.wordpress.com/2013/04/19/sabres-last-dane/

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