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."