By Mike Harrington
SUNRISE, Fla. -- Empty arenas (above) and early edition stories get me poring through game notes so you get some extras prior to tonight's 7:30 start. Cheap plug: Be sure to come back for the live blog around faceoff time. Numbers to watch:
---Minus-39: The Panthers' NHL-worst goal differential. No one else is worse than minus-22.
---2: The number of Los Angeles Kings scouts listed on the press box roster, including assistant GM Ron Hextall (yep, the fighting ex-Flyers goalie). Bet they're watching more Sabres than Panthers.
---3: Number of goals the Panthers scored in losing the last three games. Of course, Tampa was on a three-game skid Tuesday and we know how that turned out.
---21: Number of one-goal games the Sabres have played, going 9-8-4. The Sabres have played 12 of their last 14 decided by a goal, going 6-3-3.
---30: The Sabres have the NHL's worst power play (12.5 percent) and the Panthers are the worst team on the PK (74.0). Something has to give, right?
---42: The number of goals the Panthers have given up in the first period and the Sabres have given up in the second period. Both are the worst figures in the league. Florida has been outscored, 42-24, while the Sabres have been outscored, 42-26.
---139 of 145: The save totals for Panthers starting goalitender Jacob Markstrom over the last four games.
---600: The number of career NHL games Steve Ott will play when he steps on the ice tonight. Christian Ehrhoff hits No. 600 Saturday at home against Washington.