NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, March 14th (All times Eastern)
Colorado Avalanche (37-30-4) at Buffalo Sabres (33-29-8), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Avalanche and Sabres have hit their stride over the past month, playing themselves into the postseason race.
Buffalo and Colorado both shoot for a third straight victory in tonight's meeting as they try to keep pace for their respective conference's eighth seed.
The Sabres have put together a 9-2-2 record over their last 13 games dating back to Feb. 27, leaving them four points behind the Capitals for the final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference with 12 games to play. The Avalanche, meanwhile, are 8-3-0 over their last 11 trips to the ice, with Monday's 3-2 overtime victory against the Anaheim Ducks putting them into sole possession of the eighth spot in the West.
The Avalanche, who have since fallen into a tie with three other teams for eighth place, emerged with Monday's home victory thanks to rookie Gabriel Landeskog's first career overtime winner. Landeskog netted his team-leading 19th goal of the season and moved into a tie for the rookie goal-scoring league.
Landeskog was asked about what was said on the bench before overtime.
"There wasn't much said," he admitted. "We just knew that we had to go out and get that extra point. Every point is important for us right now and it felt good to get that win."
Jamie McGinn and Kevin Porter also scored for Colorado, which got 38 saves from goaltender Semyon Varlamov.
Buffalo is also coming off a thrilling victory, posting a 3-2 overtime win over visiting Montreal on Monday. Tyler Ennis scored twice in regulation and Ryan Miller made 26 saves, but was beaten for the game-tying goal with just seconds remaining in regulation.
However, Tyler Myers secured the extra point after putting home a wrister at 2:01 of overtime.
"We should have had that game put away early, but crazy stuff happens when you let a team hang around," Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff said.
Drew Stafford had two assists for the Sabres, who will be without Myers tonight after a meeting with the NHL's Department of Player Safety on Tuesday resulted in a three-game suspension for the blueliner. The defenseman was subject to further discipline following a boarding minor for a hit on Montreal's Scott Gomez in the third period.
Buffalo will look to beat Colorado tonight for the first time since Dec. 4, 2005. The Sabres have lost four straight since, including each of the past three encounters beyond regulation.
The Avalanche are 4-1-1 in their past six trips to Buffalo.
03/14 10:30:34 ET