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Bove: Sabres running out of time

Bove: Sabres running out of time
Posted at 4:32 PM, Mar 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-07 16:32:13-05

Since returning from the bye week [Sat. Feb. 25] the Buffalo Sabres have played six games. In four of those games, the Sabres took a lead into the third period, only to see their edge disappear.

Here's how it has played out:

Feb. 25 at Colorado -- Sabres lose despite late push

Feb. 26 at Arizona -- Sabres squander a two-goal lead in the third period, lose 3-2 in regulation.

Feb. 28 vs. Predators -- Sabres surrender a two-goal lead in the third period, lose in OT 5-4.

Mar. 2 vs Coyotes *only win* -- Sabres take a one-goal lead into the third period but Coyotes tie game. Buffalo scores three unanswered and win 6-3 in regulation.

Mar. 4 vs. Lightning -- Sabres score first but lose to Lightning in Shootout (oh hey, Nikita Kucherov).

Mar. 5 at Pittsburgh -- Sabres jump out to a 3-0 lead but fail to score again, allowing the Penguins to score twice in the second period and again in the third, losing 4-3 in regulation.

Needless to say, it has been a very rough stretch for the Sabres, who were in playoff contention less than two weeks ago. If they have ANY chance at making the playoffs [five points out of a playoff spot] they'll need to go on a run in the next few weeks. That's easier said than done, especially when you look at the Sabres next six games:

-Home vs. Flyers
-Away vs. Blue Jackets
-Home vs. Blue Jackets
-Away vs. Sharks
-Away vs. Kings
-Away vs. Ducks

Good luck.

The only bright spot for the Sabres has been the play of both Jack Eichel and Ryan O'Reilly. Eichel is currently rolling and has the longest current point streak in the N.H.L. [10-games], while O'Reilly has six points [3G, 3A] in the Sabres last three games.

The Sabres are running out of time with only 16 games left on their schedule. It sounds crazy, but at this point, almost every game is a must-win.

Flyers game notes:

Robin Lehner starts for the Sabres --- Dmitry Kulikov will not play, he's still day-to-day. Here's how lines looked during Tuesday's pregame skate.