Sabres will fight back

April 19, 2011 Updated Apr 19, 2011 at 8:50 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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April 19, 2011 Updated Apr 19, 2011 at 8:50 PM EDT

There is no panic in Lindy Ruff.



The Sabres head coach was quick to remind his players on Tuesday morning that they've faced this kind of pressure for the last four months. That they've handled virtual "must win" games really since January. The Sabres needed a 16-4-4 run down the stretch just to get into the playoffs. Now he's looking for his team to respond once again on Wednesday night



I think that will serve the Sabres well when they hit the ice for game four against the Philadelphia Flyers.



Yes, the Sabres trail 2-1 in the best-of-seven series. Yes, they've lost back-to-back games for the first time since new owner Terry Pegula took over in late February. But, take away the empty net goal by Kimmo Timonen on Monday, and they've lost back-to-back one goal games. The difference in this series hasn't been much.



I expect the Sabres to bounce back in front of the home crowd on Thursday.



Ryan Miller shutout the Flyers in game one, but will tell you he can play better then he has in the last two games. Thomas Vanek scored two power play goals in game two, but wasn't on the score sheet in game three at the HSBC Arena. Pat Kaleta, and Cody McCormick have more goals then Jason Pominville and Tyler Ennis so far.



My point is in my opinion the Sabres have yet to play their best game , and have lost a pair of close contests to the second seed in the Eastern Conference.



Lindy Ruff didn't like the way his team took care of the puck in game three. He didn't like the mistakes by his defenseman but believes that players made those mistakes "on their toes".



I think the Sabres will get off to a better start (which I haven't liked the first several minutes in all three games) in front of the home crowd on Thursday with a chance to tie up the series. Then it's off to Philly in a series that becomes a best of three.



If we've learned anything about the Sabres this year it is that they will not go run and hide in pressure situations. Let's see how they handle Wednesday night.



See you at the Arena.