Quick Hits: Sabres at Senators / vs. Avalanche / vs. Blues / vs. Blackhawks

The Buffalo Sabres grabbed 6 of 8 points this week, as they continue to make up ground in the Atlantic Division playoff race.

The frantic February schedule can finally calm down for the Buffalo Sabres, as they’ve reached the 5-day break in their schedule. Up to this point, Buffalo had played 11 games in 18 February days. My goodness, man. How have their legs not fallen off?

Buffalo’s busy week started off north of the border in Ottawa, Ontario as the Senators played host to the Sabres. This one was a typical Sabres game of late – show some life early, suck it up in the second period and then play like heroes in the third period. It all worked out in the long run for the Sabres, as they grabbed themselves a big 3-2 regulation victory.

Back home against Colorado, starting a 3-game homestand before the weird NHL mandated 5-day break, things felt a little strange. This game almost had the feel of a trap game for the Buffalo Sabres. Colorado literally had nothing to lose at this point and Buffalo seemed to play like they knew that. Buffalo won this game 2-0 but it was a borefest that seemed like it could go either way for most of the first period. Buffalo took a 1-0 lead early in the second and didn’t look back.

Arguably the biggest Sabres win in a little while came against the white-hot St. Louis Blues. This team had won six-straight games heading into Saturday’s matchup and things started off real bad for Buffalo, after they allowed a Vladimir Tarasenko goal just 1:31 into the game. From there, Buffalo locked it down and clawed their way back into the game. The Sabres scored 3 unanswered goals over two periods, including Evander Kane’s 20th of the season, to create enough of a gap to hang on. St. Louis had a late push but Buffalo successfully parked the bus and stopped the Blues in their tracks.

To close out the pre-break schedule with this type of game was a disappointment. Buffalo had so much forward momentum, a three-game winning streak to be exact, that was crushed by the powerhouse Chicago Blackhawks. After one period, it was 1-1 but after that, there was not much of a game. Chicago went on to score 4 unanswered goals, on their way to a 5-1 trouncing of the Buffalo Sabres.

Taking 6 of 8 points this week has surely helped the Sabres playoff hopes (see below) but now with no games for the next five days, Buffalo sits pretty watching other teams (hopefully not) expand the gap between Buffalo and themselves.

Quick hits, coming right up!

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    • Sabres Showdown

After a quickly played tournament schedule, the winner of the 2017 Sabres Showdown has been revealed!

    • Player of the Week

Time for Evander Kane to get his due.

This week featured Kane scoring 3 goals in 4 games, including a goal in three-straight games. Not bad at all.

The three goals this week pushed Kane to 21 goals on the season, pushing him past the 20-goal mark for the 3rd time in his NHL career and the second-straight time with the Buffalo Sabres.

If Kane keeps up this pace, he is a sure thing to eclipse his career-high mark of 30 goals set back in the 2011-12 season with the Winnipeg Jets.

(I see a trade value rising..)

    • Playoff Update

Here are a current look at the standings – at the time of this post, Philadelphia was beating Vancouver 3-1 in the 2nd period, so the Flyers will likely moved back into 5th in the Wild Card.

SportsClubStats.com currently ranks Buffalo’s playoff chances at a 6.1%. Buffalo would likely need to finish off the season with a 14-5-3 record (95 points) to have a 65.9% chance at the playoffs.

    • The Good Tweets

Written by Ryan Wolfe

Ryan Wolfe is the founder and editor-in-chief of BLTD Sports. He can be heard on the BLTD Podcast. Ryan's writing is also featured over at TheHockeyWriters.com.

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