[Open Thread] Buffalo Sabres vs. Carolina Hurricanes

       vs       

7:30PM TV:MSG Radio:WGR55

Time is running out quickly on the Buffalo Sabres.  This weekend will go a long way in determining whether or not they have any realistic chance at making the playoffs.  If you want to know just how important the game is tonight, I think it is all summed up here.

Sabres Notes:  Mike Weber earned his first career point on Wednesday against the Pittsburgh Penguins...Ales Kotalik has 98 career goals and needs only two for 100 in his career...Toni Lydman has nine points in his last 11 games, including the tying goal on Saturday against Carolina...Derek Roy has two goals and three assists in three games played against Carolina this season...Jason Pominville leads the Sabres with power play points with 22 (2 goals, 20 assists)...Max Afinogenov and Jochen Hecht are both on a three game point streak...Buffalo has only two wins in their last 10 games going 2-5-3 in that time frame...Tonights game will mark the 25th consecutive start for Ryan Miller...Buffalo has the 6th ranked power play at home.

Hurricanes Notes:  The Hurricanes are 5-0-0 in their last five games and 8-1-1 in their last 10...The Hurricanes have averaged 36.4 shots a game over their past 10 games...Eric Staal has four goals and eight assists in his last five games to lead the Canes...Canes have the 16th ranked power play but they are 11th on the road...The Canes are 30th in the league in penalty killing but 22nd on the road...Ray Whitney and Eric Staal both have 28 points on the power play, Staal leads the Canes with 12 power play goals.

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Buffalo Leaders

Goals:Thomas Vanek 28
Assists:Jason Pominville 42
Points:Jason Pominville 65
Plus/minus:Jason Pominville +12
PIM:Andrew Peters 100

Hurricanes Leaders

Goals:Eric Staal 34
Assists:Matt Cullen, Eric Staal 36
Points:Eric Staal 70
Plus/minus:Joe Corvo +21
PIM:Scott Walker 86

Projected Sabres lines

Vanek-Roy-Stafford
Kotalik-Hecht-Pominville
Paille-Gaustad-Afinogenov
Kaleta-Mair-Bernier

Tallinder-Lydman
Sekera-Pratt
Weber-Funk

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