BUFFALO – Forget about the other seven or eight teams battling for that final Eastern Conference playoff berth. The 12th-place Sabres simply need to keep winning games and mind their own business.
“We’ve been same story, focused on the game in front of us like a lot of teams are doing in our situation, where they got to get points out of every game to make the playoffs,” interim coach Ron Rolston said this morning after the Sabres prepared for tonight’s game against the New Jersey Devils.
“New Jersey is one of those teams, and we’re one of those teams right now.”
The Sabres, winners of two straight, have a 4.9 percent chance of making the playoffs, according to sportsclubstats.com.
Meanwhile, the 10th-place Devils, losers of six straight (0-3-3) and nine of 11 (2-5-4), enter tonight’s tilt inside the First Niagara Center reeling.
Ryan Miller should face legendary Devils goalie Martin Brodeur in net.
Winger Thomas Vanek (muscle strain) will miss his sixth straight game tonight. The Sabres’ leading scorer skipped this morning’s skate but should practice again Monday.
“We wanted to give him today off completely because he’s been out there a lot,” Rolston said.
Rolston still believes Vanek could return Tuesday in Winnipeg.