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Sabres' Sekera remains confident heading into Philadelphia game

PHILADELPHIA -- The Sabres, who are missing injured defensemen Tyler Myers and Christian Ehrhoff, have spent the last two days talking about tightening up their defensive system. They can't afford to keep allowing easy goals to the opponents.

Andrej Sekera knows that as well as anyone in Blue and Gold. The defenseman gave the puck away on Toronto's opening goal in Saturday's 4-3 loss to the Leafs. He was on the ice for all three first-period goals by the Leafs during Tuesday's 6-5 overtime victory against Toronto.

Despite the minus-4 showing in the past two games, he's confident heading into tonight's meeting with Philadelphia.

"I’m fine," he said in Wells Fargo Center. "We watched how we’re supposed to play, tried to correct the mistakes and that should make us better. I’m not the only one in this league that has some tough breaks. Things will happen, and I will try to battle through them. It’s as simple as that."

Coach Lindy Ruff backed his blue-liner, who has been asked to player a bigger role in the absence of Myers and Ehrhoff. Sekera averaged nearly 24 minutes in the last two games.

"His mind-set should be good," Ruff said. "We dealt with that as a team. It isn’t one person that makes a mistake on those. Even if one person makes a mistake we should have secondary help, which in some cases I didn’t feel we had good enough help.

"The breakdowns were usually three, four guys. It wasn’t just one. We could have played every situation differently."

The objective for the Sabres tonight is clear. If they win and Washington doesn't, Buffalo again controls the eighth-place spot in the Eastern Conference heading into Saturday's finales.

"Definitely we’d like to win," Sekera said, "and we’ll do anything for it."

---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 |

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 |