Friday, March 25, 2011

Gamenight Panthers @ Buffalo 3/25/11 7:30 PM

Sorry for the delay...I was a little distracted with the "Slushy 16"...AKA the 1st round of the NCAA Tournament! Quick preview...


Florida Panthers (29-35-10 68 points)

Buffalo Sabres (36-28-9 81 points)
Friday, March 25, 2011 7:30 PM; HSBC Arena, Buffalo, NY
TV: FS-Florida, MSG-Buffalo
RADIO: 560 WQAM (Miami) 550 AM WGR (Buffalo)
* * *
The Florida Panthers take on the Buffalo Sabres tonight in Buffalo. It is the 4th meeting between the two teams with the Panthers holding a 2-0-1 lead in the season series.  The Sabres were dominated in their first two games against Florida, losing 6-2 and 4-3 respectively. The scored of the second game is a bit misleading, as Florida and Buffalo traded 3 goal periods, with Florida scoring first and then Jason Garrison winning it late in the third. Last time they met, in Florida on February 10, Tyler Myers scored with 5 seconds left in overtime to give the Sabres their first win over Florida this year. 

MOVING ON: Florida faces their third desperate team in 3 games. The first two have not gone their way, as they were shut out on consecutive nights against the New York Rangers and Chicago Blackhawks. Tonight, the face Ryan Miller and a Buffalo team that has seen themselves bouncing in and out of the 8th spot.  Right now, they're in, with a 6-3-1 record over their last 10. They sit 3 points ahead of Carolina and Toronto, having played 73 games. That's even with Carolina, but gives them two games in hand over The Leafs. In case you are wondering, Florida is two losses away from (finally) being eliminated from the playoffs. 

WHO TO WATCH FOR: Stephen Weiss and Chris Higgins have 4 points on 2 goals and 2 assists this year against the Sabres for Florida. Higgins was traded at the deadline, and Weiss may not play tonight as he's missed the past two games.  Patrick Rissmiller has made the "long" journey from Rochester to fill in if necessary. Evgeny Dadonov will have to step up tonight. The rookie has 4 points, all on assists, this season against Buffalo. Meanwhile, Jordan Leopold is the only Sabre to have multiple goals against Florida this year, with 2 on the season series.
FLA - Tomas Vokoun
BUF - Ryan Miller

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