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Bandits can clinch playoff berth with two wins this weekend

The Buffalo Bandits haven’t played a game in two weeks, yet they still have the most wins in the National Lacrosse League.

Buffalo holds a one-game advantage on Toronto in the Eastern Division with a 9-2 record.

The Bandits can secure a spot in the playoffs for the first time since 2016 with two wins this weekend.

Buffalo hasn’t played since Feb. 22 when they defeated the Rochester Knighthawks, 16-9. The Bandits play in Philadelphia against the Wings at 8 p.m. tonight and immediately come back to Buffalo to play the Georgia Swarm at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday. It is their second back-to-back this season.

Co-head coach John Tavares’ said the full focus is on the Wings until that game is over, only then will they shift focus to the Swarm.

Philadelphia may be 2-8 on the season but Buffalo co-coach Rich Kilgour believes they are 10 minutes away in every game from probably being 7-4.

The Wings are a big, athletic team, according to Kilgour, and nearly upset the Bandits even after Buffalo took a 7-2 lead.

The Bandits have escaped with 17-15 and 14-10 victories in the two prior matchups this season. Friday’s game will be the last time they meet in the regular season.

Buffalo had a near-perfect game when they last played the Swarm.

Both teams have a lethal offense, being 1-2 in the league for goals scored, but Buffalo has a slight goaltending edge as they allow .76 less goals per game.

The Bandits needs to win to secure the tiebreaker for any possible playoff scenarios as they only play each other twice this season.

If Buffalo goaltender Matt Vinc is unable to suit up for both games, then they will turn to Zach Higgins. Higgins is responsible for both the Bandits’ losses this season. Higgins has only stopped 67 percent of his shots while Vinc leads the league with a .799 save percentage.

 

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