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Sabres' road to playoffs might soon feature 'Do Not Enter' sign

By John Vogl

The Buffalo Sabres’ path to the playoffs is filled with signs that read “Rough Road Ahead.”

It might soon read “Do Not Enter.”

The Sabres enter tonight’s home game against Montreal in 11th place in the Eastern Conference. More important than their standing is how far back of a playoff spot they have fallen.

The seventh-place New York Islanders and eighth-place Rangers both have 44 points. The Sabres are six back with 38. Each team has eight games remaining.

The Isles and Rangers are on pace for 53 points. For the Sabres to match that, they need to go 7-0-1 down the stretch.

“Anything can happen,” left wing Thomas Vanek said today First Niagara Center. “So many teams probably thought they were out of it, then they won three games in a row. Until the end, you have a chance.”

Another loss or two would all but end Buffalo’s chances.

“There’s a lot of points up for grabs here,” left wing Steve Ott said. “It’s going to be a tough task.”

Montreal is fourth in the Eastern Conference but has the third-most points with 55. The Habs are only one point behind Northeast Division-leading Boston. Buffalo is 4-0-1 in its last five home games against Montreal and 8-1-1 in the last 10 overall.

Ryan Miller will start in goal tonight. Interim coach Ron Rolston said Jhonas Enroth will start one of the Sabres’ next two games, either Saturday against Philadelphia or Sunday against Tampa Bay.

John Scott will be scratched for the Sabres.

“Everyone in that locker room still believes we’re a playoff team,” Rolston said.

Ron Rolston

tagged

Montreal Canadiens | Thomas Vanek
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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 | jvogl@buffnews.com

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 | mharrington@buffnews.com


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 | amoritz@buffnews.com

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