The Sabres have accomplished their most immediate goal. They control their own destiny for a playoff spot. Thanks to Tuesday's convincing victory over Washington, Buffalo has to merely match the Capitals down the stretch.
"Last game was a big statement game for us, but in saying that we don’t want to focus on it too much," defenseman Tyler Myers said today of the 5-1 win. "We want to look ahead and make sure we win our next five."
Of the four teams with the best chance at the final three playoff spots – Southeast Division-leading Florida (89 points), seventh-place Ottawa (88), Buffalo (86) and Washington (84), which also plays in the Southeast – the Sabres have the hardest remaining schedule.
Buffalo hosts Pittsburgh on Friday, plays Toronto twice and closes with Philadelphia and Boston. Those teams have a points percentage of .575. Washington’s challengers are at .570, Ottawa’s opponents are at .567 while Florida’s foes are at .505.
"We’re going to go into some tough rinks, and we’ve got some great teams to play against," forward Cody McCormick said. "It’s about doing what we’ve been doing and taking it forward."