|Dion Phaneuf battles for the puck with Thomas Vanek.|
(Graig Abel/NHLI via Getty Images)
The Sabres will have to subsist in their regular season home finale tonight without their top two defensemen, as the pair will be out of the line-up nursing injuries. Christian Ehrhoff will miss the remainder of the regular season with a knee injury suffered in Washington earlier in the week. With Ehrhoff in the line-up, the Sabres are 36-22-8 (.606). Without him, they are 2-9-2 (.231).
Tyler Myers did not practice Monday, and has missed one game since taking a shot off his foot in a loss to Pittsburgh on Friday. He will miss tonight's game and maybe more. With Myers in the line-up, Buffalo is 31-21-4 (.589). Without him, they are 7-10-6 (.435).
Lindy Ruff said the Sabres need to minimize the mistakes that led to their demise in Toronto on Saturday night, particularly since they are playing down a few valuable men. "We've made it real tough on ourselves," Ruff said. "Obviously we know where we're at with a depleted defense. We've put ourselves in a real tough spot. We have to play a cleaner game than that. To try and chase the game with two of our more mobile defensemen out of the lineup that are on the offensive side of it, it's tough to chase. You're going to make some mistakes and give up some high-quality opportunities."
More after the jump.
|Eastern Conference Standings - April 3|
But the ball is now in the Sabres' court. They need to win their game in hand and more, as Washington owns the non-shootout wins tie-breaker. The game in hand will be made up tonight in the Sabres' final home game on the regular season schedule. Odds will be affected with the outcome of tonight's game as follows.
Toronto Maple Leafs at Buffalo Sabres
BUF - Reg Win (+8.2%)
BUF - OT Win (+8.2%)
BUF - SO Win (+8.2%)
TOR - Reg Win (-15.4%)
TOR - OT Win (-4.3%)
TOR - SO Win (-4.3%)
Tonight is the 184th game all-time between Buffalo and Toronto; Buffalo leads the series with a 101-60-22 record. Buffalo is 60-25-7 at home against the Toronto Maple Leafs all-time. This is the sixth and final meeting between the two teams this season with Toronto leading the season series 3-2. Four of the five games so far this season have been decided by one goal. In their last meeting, Toronto defeated Buffalo, 4-3, in Toronto on March 31. The Sabres are 4-6-0 in their last 10 games against the Maple Leafs; 9-1-0 at home. The Sabres have won 10 of their last 11 home games against Toronto. Buffalo has not lost the home portion of a home-and-home series with the Maple Leafs since Dec. 20, 1970 (4-2 loss). The Sabres are 8-1-2 (two ties) all-time in the home portion of these series.
Washington will close out its season with a home game against the Florida Panthers on Thursday and a trip to Madison Square Garden on Saturday. Saturday will close the NHL's regular season and all 30 teams will be in action. The Sabres close their season with a 4:00pm game in Boston. They will then have to sit and watch as their fate could possibly be decided when the puck-drops at 6:30pm between the Capitals and New York Rangers.