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So why do teams, fans and media spend all season fretting about the quest for home-ice advantage in the playoffs? So far this spring, it's proving to mean very little. Road teams are 40-35 in the postseason this year heading into Saturday night's Tampa Bay-Washington showdown in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference final at Tampa's Amalie Arena. That includes a 19-13 mark s…

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While Tampa Bay and Boston continue to battle on the ice, the Atlantic Division is undergoing sweeping change. It was by far the weakest division in hockey this season – with four of the NHL's bottom five teams – but may not stay that way much longer. The biggest impact, of course, came from the draft lottery as the Sabres earned the No. 1 pick while Montreal won the dr…

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TORONTO – For one final time – No. 4 in less than a month if you're Rasmus Ristolainen and Nazem Kadri counting them – it's the Sabres vs. Maple Leafs. The season series wraps up at 7 p.m. in Air Canada Centre. Here are Five Things to Know: 1. The season series The Sabres are 2-1 against Toronto this year and have won two straight meetings here, one last season an…

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TORONTO – The Buffalo Sabres have 58 points while the once-woeful Toronto Maple Leafs have 97 and are rolling toward the playoffs for the second straight year. The teams meet tonight at 7 in Air Canada Centre, with the game televised on MSG. It's game 76 for the Sabres. Starting tonight, only seven more left over the final two weeks to mercifully end another lost season…

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ETOBICOKE, Ont. – Probably the last place the Buffalo Sabres need to be Monday night is the Air Canada Centre. At one of the lowest points in their season, when they once again can't put the puck in the ocean if they were given a free shot from the beach, the Sabres will meet the Toronto Maple Leafs in a game where plenty of history can be made for the NHL's resurgent O…

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The place to take the scene all in Thursday night was the highest point of KeyBank Center. This corner is a big fan of the view from the press box, from where it's very easy to watch plays develop on the ice and equally cool to scan the stands. What we saw during this game was stunning. I've been going to Sabres-Leafs games since the 1970s in the Aud and there is no que…

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Sabres vs. Leafs in KeyBank Center. And it should be just about over by the time St. Bonaventure tips off in Dallas and certainly by the time UB tips off in Boise. Call it the pregame show to tonight's historic double dip of Big 4 March Madness. It starts at 7 p.m. on MSG and the Sabres will be back in a game for the first time since Saturday's shootout loss to Vegas. T…

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There's no word yet on any sort of timetable for Jack Eichel's return to the Buffalo Sabres' lineup. Meanwhile, the Toronto Maple Leafs appear to be on the verge of getting Auston Matthews back, but his return may not come when the teams meet Thursday in KeyBank Center. The Sabres are 6-6-2 without Eichel, who suffered a high ankle sprain Feb. 10 at Boston and has resum…

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The Toronto Maple Leafs are going to the playoffs for the second straight year and that's enough to rile Sabres fans, be they ardent or casual. The issue this season is what happens once they get there. Under the NHL's bogus divisional playoff format, the Leafs are almost certainly going to play the Tampa Bay Lightning or Boston Bruins in the first round. That makes the…

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A couple of hours after coach Phil Housley held his daily post-practice media briefing Sunday in KeyBank Center, the Sabres made a couple of surprise callups from the Rochester Amerks. It's uncertain what impact the arrival of defenseman Brendan Guhle and forward Kyle Criscuolo will be for Monday's game against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Defenseman Marco Scandella, who mi…

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Jason Pominville is an alum of the days when the Buffalo Sabres and Toronto Maple Leafs played eight times a season. So what's gone on this year has been a head-scratcher to him. The Sabres play game 66 of their season Monday night in KeyBank Center, exactly five months after the campaign began. And it's the first time all year they meet the Leafs. But the longtime riva…

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We can argue ad nauseam about goalie interference or toenail challenges, or about the inconsistency of the Department of Player Safety (Credit Due Dept: They nailed it with that 10-game suspension for Alex Burrows' dirtbag attack of Taylor Hall). You can say skipping the Olympics is a disaster, I can say I'd rather watch the NHL season continue to play out. Those debate…

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TAMPA, Fla. — Auston Matthews was asked Sunday night if his pointing "good-goal" celebration has a name. He thought about it quickly and came up with The Referee. Perfect. Matthews and close friend Jack Eichel concocted the signature moment of Sunday's NHL All-Star Game in the wake of the NHL's continued absurdity with replay challenges. It was hilarious and put anot…

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TAMPA, Fla. — Jack Eichel had three points Sunday as the Atlantic Division beat the Metropolitan, 7-4, in one semifinal at the NHL All-Star Game in Amalie Arena. But the Buffalo Sabres center, one of the game's standouts on the ice, also scored huge points on the humor scale with his goal celebration. Eichel snapped a 4-4 tie on a goal with 3:20 to play and it came s…

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Jason Botterill certainly wants to get at least a prize in the sky for Evander Kane. So how can you blame the Sabres' general manager for shooting for the stars and the moon? What TSN is reporting as the Sabres' latest demands, a four-piece return for Kane that includes a first-round draft pick, seems unlikely to actually take place by the Feb. 26 trade deadline. But al…