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[open thread] Sabres vs. Panthers

5  vs   3      

Final Score

Are you interested in what teams will be buyers and which teams will be sellers at the trade deadline?  This is a must watch game today if you are.  The Sabres are currently in ninth place with 58 points just three points out of a playoff spot (we won't talk about why they are in ninth).  The Florida Panthers are just one point behind the Sabres with 57 points.  The Standings remain unbelievably close in the entire lower half of the Eastern Conference.  

Tim Connolly will be back in the lineup for the Sabres after missing 13 games with a hip injury.  It will be interesting to see how Connolly fares because we have all been told that he will be playing with the pain.  The unfortunate part of the return of Connolly is that Drew Stafford re-injured his ankle and will be out of the lineup.  Max Afinogenov remains out with a groin injury so I expect the same lineup with Connolly in and Stafford out.

This will be the third and final meeting of the season between the Sabres and Panthers.  The Sabres won both games in Florida while the Panthers won the only meeting in Buffalo back in November.  Ryan Miller posted a shutout in the last meeting between the two teams on January 30.  The Panthers have the number four ranked power play in the league while Buffalo has the seventh ranked penalty kill, that will be an interesting matchup to watch.  The Sabres would be smart to just stay out of the box.

This thread is designed for community involvement so make sure to post your comments.  If you haven't registered for free account make sure to do it now.  I look forward to chatting with everyone during the game and Go Sabres!!