The Sabres have scored first in nine of the past 10 games and have gone 3-6-1 over that span. The Sabres have the worst record in the NHL and know that if they're going to beat one of the League's best teams in the Rangers, they'll have to make better use of getting ahead in games.
"I think the biggest thing is just to kind of keep that lead," Sabres forward Marcus Foligno said. "We've been getting off to a one-or-two-goal start and we kind of sit back and let that other team come back at us. I think everyone is eager to play, they're eager to get going. Our starts have been pretty hot lately and I think now it's just something where we have to sit back and think about what we've been doing and we've got to keep attacking."
"Zemgus, I guess it's a good thing we will see him before the end of the season," Sabres coach Ted Nolan said. "It's bad, but not as bad as we thought."
Nolan would not disclose the nature of Ennis' injury, only saying he pulled something; he's considered day-to-day.
The Sabres recalled forwards Zac Dalpe and Philip Varone from Rochester of the American Hockey League on Thursday and they will play against Vancouver on the same line with recent Rochester call-up Johan Larsson.
Sabres coach Ted Nolan announced Gorges will have surgery to repair a lower body injury and will miss the final 23 games of the season.
“Josh is going to have surgery, we’ll miss him for the remainder of the season for sure,” Nolan said. “He should be back ready and able for training camp.”
Gorges played 46 games in his first season with the Sabres with six assists. He was tied for fourth in the NHL with 148 blocked shots with Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson. Gorges’ last appearance was Feb. 10 against the Ottawa Senators. He had no points and played 21:34.
Nolan also said Mike Weber will miss a minimum of two weeks with an upper body injury.
Skapski's debut comes a night after the Rangers lost 5-4 in a shootout to the Vancouver Canucks.
"We've played a lot of hockey lately, including a back-to-back, and after talking to Benoit [Allaire] and [Jim Schoenfeld] and [Jeff Gorton], who know him well, they all said it was a good thing to give him a start," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said. "He's been playing really well in Hartford, and back-to-back it just felt like the right thing to do."
BUFFALO – The Philadelphia Flyers have points in eight consecutive games and will have two regulars returning to the lineup when they face the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday.
Forward Michael Raffl and defenseman Braydon Coburn will play against the Sabres. Raffl has been out since Jan. 20, a span of seven games, when he battled a case of pneumonia. Coburn has been out since Jan. 12 with a broken foot and missed 12 games.
"They're two big players for us and two good players," Flyers coach Craig Berube said. "It's good to get them back for sure."
For six months, it's a really good accomplishment. But as soon as April [11, the end of the regular season] comes around, no one thinks about the regular season anymore. For six months, it's a real battle to get into the playoffs in the NHL these days. There are a lot of good teams, and it takes consistency over a long time.
— Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau after a win against the Islanders on Saturday clinched a playoff berth for Anaheim