Playoff bubble watch — Buffalo Sabres edition

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With the NHL playoff race getting down to the wire, we’ll be providing regular updates on each bubble team’s postseason push.

Bubble team: Buffalo Sabres

Where they stand: 9th in the East, tied with 8th-place Washington, but the Caps have a game in hand

Games remaining: 8

SportsClubStats.com says: 24.0% chance of making the playoffs

Why they’ll get in:

Clearly they’re a different team than the one we saw early on. The Sabres are 11-2-3 in their last 16 games, a stretch that’s included wins in San Jose, Vancouver and Ottawa. They’re also a lot healthier than they’ve been for most of the season. Back in January, owner Terry Pegula pinned the team’s poor performance on a “massive, catastrophic injury problem.” Maybe he had a point.

Why they won’t:

Games in New York (Rangers), Washington, Philadelphia and Boston, plus a home date against Pittsburgh. They’ve got the Leafs twice and the Wild once, but still – tough schedule.

Quotable:

“We’ve worked hard to get to this spot, but we don’t have anything. We know how tough the schedule is ahead of us. We can’t take a game for granted.” – coach Lindy Ruff

Biggest game coming up:

Friday at the Rangers