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Power play needs to give offense a boost

UNIONDALE -- Want to see the Sabres find more offense? Look to the power play. That's where teams pad their stats and where the Sabres are really failing.

The Sabres were 0 for 6 in Wednesday's shootout loss to the Rangers and are 0 for 10 in the last three games. They're 1 for 15 in the last five -- and just 3 for 33 in the last 13.

The Sabres are 17th in the NHL entering tonight at 17.1 percent but just 24th on the road at 13.6 percent and have only nine power-play tallies away from First Niagara Center all season.

Coach Lindy Ruff said today that there's a lot of minor problems adding up to bigger onces,  aside from the biggest one of no one finishing plays. It will certainly help if some point shots get through and end up on net as well.

"It's just a bunch of little stuff, from retrievals ... and the retrieval part after the initial shot, whether you get it back after the initial shot and get the second opportunity,' Ruff said. "We've had some good looks and I don't think we've had enough. It starts on the retrievals. And it's gotten a little bit stagnant where they're standing around too much. It's a pass from point A to point B and nobody's moving. We've worked the last two days of getting the motion back in the game."

And without Thomas Vanek, who's going to stand in front of the net and try to cause some chaos? At today's morning skate, Drew Stafford had that role on the No. 1 unit and Luke Adam had it on the second group.

"Quick puck movement and the intensity to get pucks back when we lose them are big things," said Tyler Myers, who is working the point with Christian Ehrhoff on the No. 1 unit. "We've addressed those things the last few days. We've done some good things out there but we still need to be better. Quick puck movement is one of the biggest things. We do that, we can break teams' penalty kills down a little bit and get some more pucks to the net."

---Mike Harrington

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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl |

About Sabres Edge

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

@BNHarrington |

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz |