Buffalo Sabres

NHL on NBCSN: Someone will break their slump as Devils face Sabres

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NBCSN will continue its coverage of the 2014-15 campaign as New Jersey Devils host the Buffalo Sabres at the Prudential Center at 7:30 p.m. ET. In addition to NBCSN, you can also watch the game and pre-show online.

The New Jersey Devils’ playoff chances are slim right now. To elaborate, Sports Club Stats gives them a .2 chance of making it.

If the Devils want to make a big push, that will need to really kick off starting on Tuesday, and not just because they’re hosting the cellar-dwelling Buffalo Sabres.

After losing four games in a row – all in regulation – the Devils begin a six-game homestand tonight. Not only that, they also play nine of their next 10 games in Newark.

Here’s what their schedule looks like:

Tonight: vs. Buffalo
Friday: vs. Vancouver
Saturday: vs. Carolina
Feb. 23: vs. Arizona
Feb. 25: vs. Calgary
Feb. 27: vs. Boston
Feb. 28: at Columbus
March 3: vs. Nashville
March 6: vs. Columbus
March 8: vs. Philadelphia

Seems like a nice chance to at least make things interesting, right?

After a somewhat decent start to February, the Sabres look as vulnerable as ever.

Buffalo has dropped three straight games in regulation, all at home. About the best thing one can say about them is that their goaltending has kept them in games and at least helped Buffalo avoid getting embarrassed.

With Jhonas Enroth shipped out of town, the net largely goes to Michal Neuvirth, who has been playing fairly well recently. He’s likely to have competition at the other end, as Cory Schneider remains one of the bright spots for New Jersey.

There isn’t a ton of firepower, but considering the looming trade deadline, there may not be that many more opportunities to see Jaromir Jagr in a Devils jersey.

Fans of contending teams might want a glimpse at Jagr as he stands to be a desirable trade target, too.

Costly win: Jets’ Perreault, Stafford banged up last night

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It’s been a breakthrough season for Winnipeg Jets forward Mathieu Perreault … at least when his body isn’t breaking down.

The Jets managed a 5-4 win against the Edmonton Oilers on Monday, but it came at a cost, as Perreault and newly acquired forward Drew Stafford suffered injuries. Perreault’s seems to be lower-body related while Stafford deals with an upper-body ailment, the Winnipeg Sun reports.

“There’s not much you can do. We’ve dealt with it throughout the whole year and we’ve got enough guys that can jump up in the lineup and fill roles,” Andrew Ladd said. “Hopefully, those guys aren’t out too long.”

Perreault, 27, reportedly left in a walking boot:

Updates regarding either forwards condition aren’t expected until Wednesday.

Viktor Fasth was hurt on the Oilers side in that game, so there was generally a significant physical toll to yesterday’s game.

Jets top Oilers with second straight shootout win

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The Winnipeg Jets have had to work hard for every point they’ve earned lately. Their 5-4 shootout win over Edmonton tonight was the fifth time in the last seven contests that Winnipeg couldn’t settle things in 60 minutes.

Nail Yakupov, who has struggled offensively for most of the season, made things difficult for the Jets tonight with two goals including this power-play marker late in the third period:

Edmonton’s late game lead was short-lived though as Andrew Ladd tied the contest just 42 seconds later with his 20th goal of the season:

Bryan Little was another major contributor for Winnipeg with two goals and an assist. Tyler Myers also found the back of the net, giving him three points in three contests since coming over to Winnipeg as part of the Evander Kane trade.

With back-to-back shootout wins, Winnipeg is now 30-19-10 this season. That means the Jets will end the night with at least a five-point cushion in the battle for a playoff spot and as much as a seven-point edge if Los Angeles and Minnesota lose against Tampa Bay and Vancouver respectively.

Sabres’ Kaleta undergoes surgery, out 4-6 weeks

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The Buffalo Sabres have lost the services of agitator Patrick Kaleta for the next 4-6 weeks following surgery on a lower-body injury, head coach Ted Nolan confirmed on Monday.

“Anybody that plays as hard as he does and what this team means to him and this organization and the city, he wears everything on his sleeve, boy his heart’s on his sleeve and when you play that way, sometimes certain things are going to break down,” Nolan said, per WGR 550 Radio.

Kaleta, 28, returned to the Sabres lineup this year after spending almost all of last season with a torn ACL. While he hasn’t been overly effective — just three points while averaging 8:38 TOI over 33 games — the New York Post floated Kaleta as a potential trade deadline target for the Rangers:

Remember last January when there was almost universal skepticism — if not revulsion — when Sather acquired Daniel Carcillo from LA? Remember how useful Carcillo was until that moment in Game 3 of the conference finals against Montreal when he became engaged with linesman Scott Driscoll and elbowed his way out of New York?

Well, presented for your (and Sather’s) consideration, another reclamation project right up the general manager’s alley.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Sabres’ Patrick Kaleta, the notorious pending free agent who, when not injuring opponents with headshots and when maintaining his discipline, is exactly the tough, grinding depth winger so necessary to go deep in the playoffs.

Kaleta’s in the last of a three-year, $3.75 million deal with a $1.25M cap hit. It’s unclear what he would cost in terms of a trade, but Buffalo’s asking price could be significantly lowered if he’s unable to return until the end of March.

Flyers edge Sabres, stretch streak to nine

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Michael Raffl had the game winner as the Philadelphia Flyers edged the Buffalo Sabres 2-1 Sunday night.

With the win Philly now has points in nine straight (6-0-3). Buffalo has just one win in its last five after snapping a franchise-worst 14-game losing streak on Feb. 3.

Philadelphia moves to within five points of the Boston Bruins for the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.

Matt Read opened the scoring with his fifth of the season at 3:19 of the first period.

Nikita Zadorov tied it 1-1, on a Buffalo power play, at 13:57 of the second period.

Zach Bogosian made his Sabres debut Sunday. He finished with a Buffalo season-high 11 hits, two blocked shots and a team-leading 24:49 of ice time in the loss.

Ray Emery made 21 saves improving to 10-9-3 on the season.

Michal Neuvirth stopped 28 shots in the loss.