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Sabres back in must-win (or must-point) mode after Capitals' victory

If the Sabres want to extend their three-day stay in an Eastern Conference playoff spot, they have to get at least one point tonight. Otherwise, they'll hand their postseason destiny back to the Washington Capitals (and Ottawa Senators).

The Capitals and Sabres are again tied in points after Washington's 3-2 shootout victory over Boston on Thursday. The Sabres have eighth place at the moment based on one fewer game played, but a regulation loss to Pittsburgh tonight in First Niagara Center would drop Buffalo into ninth. Washington owns the tiebreaker of regulation and overtime wins (and almost assuredly will own it through the remainder of the season).

"Everything is extremely important, and it’s really playoff hockey right now," Sabres defenseman Mike Weber said. "Teams are ramped up and playing extremely solid. We’ve just got to keep playing the way we’ve been playing."

A victory by Buffalo would again put the Sabres two points ahead of Washington, while an overtime or shootout loss would move the Sabres one point up. A victory would give the Sabres the same number of points as seventh-place Ottawa. The idle Senators, though, would maintain the seventh spot based on both fewer games played (one) and regulation and overtime victories.

"I think the key is you have to keep looking up. Don't look down," Sabres General Manager Darcy Regier said Thursday on the "NHL Hour with Commissioner Gary Bettman" radio show. "What that means for us is, well, there's Ottawa two points in front of us, we've played even games, let's see if we can chase Ottawa in these remaining games. … To look down and try to hold on to something is probably not the right mind-set to take."

---John Vogl

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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 | [email protected]

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 | [email protected]


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 | [email protected]

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