OTTAWA, ON - As the Sabres had the night off in Ottawa, Calgary helped keep Buffalo just two-points out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
The Flames beat Winnipeg 5-3 on Friday, leaving the Sabres two points back of both Washington and the Jets in the standings. Buffalo and Ottawa face-off at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday night.
The Sabres may be without forward Thomas Vanek, who did not practice on Friday after suffering an upper body injury in the loss to the Bruins on Thursday. Lindy Ruff did not know if he would be able to play against Ottawa. Buffalo has called up forward Marcus Foligno on an emergency basis from Rochester.
Buffalo has just 14 games left in the regular season, and while they did get some help on Friday in the standings, they can't afford to let points slip away. "We understand where we put ourselves, but there is a big chunk of the season left to play," said Sabres goalie Ryan Miller.
The players remain confident they can still fight back into the playoff picture. "Probably have to go four-out-of-five the rest of the way. It's going to be tough but everyone in the room believes we can do it," said defenseman Tyler Myers.
Buffalo will play eight of their final 14 games on the road. Buffalo has struggled to score away from home most of the season. In three of their last four road games, including the loss to the Bruins, the Sabres have only scored just one goal. "Lets call it what it is, we haven't been good enough on the road. I don't think we've been hard enough on the puck on the road, I don't think we've done a good enough job of getting enough ugly plays around the net," said Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff.
The Sabres will have to pick up the scoring pace against an Ottawa team that is 9-3-1 in their last 13 games, and is coming off an impressive 4-1 win against the Eastern Conference leading New York Rangers on Thursday night.