The Buffalo Sabres’ current winless skid hit five games with a shootout loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs Wednesday night.
Buffalo is now 3-17-3 in their last 23 road games and concluded its most recent road trip with just one of a possible 10 points (0-4-1).
The Sabres (19-42-6) have a have a three-point cushion on the Edmonton Oilers (18-38-11) for the last spot in the league.
Despite the aforementioned numbers, Sabres’ head coach Ted Nolan scoffed at the notion his club has nothing to play for with 15 games remaining on the 2014-15 schedule.
“I beg to differ, these guys have a lot to play for,” Nolan said following the Sabres’ 4-3 shootout loss. “These guys are playing for their livelihoods and they’re playing to get a job in the National Hockey League and sustain that.
“There’s all kinds of kids playing junior hockey and in Europe and all over North America trying to steal these jobs on you, so if you don’t stay on top of your game, you won’t keep them very long.”
Nolan has been particularly happy with the way his veterans have responded to the situation this season.
The line of Tyler Ennis and Matt Moulson and Johan Larsson accounted for three goals and nine points Wednesday.
“That’s why I have a lot of respect for Tyler Ennis and Matty Moulson and [Brian] Gionta,” said Nolan. “They have kids from the American Hockey League coming up here and they’re not complaining. They’re playing as hard as they can and those young kids are benefitting from it.”
Buffalo returns to action Saturday night when they play host to the New York Rangers.