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Good luck coming late against the Sabres

Wednesday, 09.22.2010 / 3:00 AM / 2010-2011 Season Preview

By John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

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Good luck coming late against the Sabres
Last season Buffalo was money when it held the lead; the Sabres were the NHL's only team unblemished when ahead after two periods.
A look back at last season shows Buffalo was money when it held the lead; the Sabres were the NHL's only team unblemished when ahead after two periods.

Advantage Margin: +29
Not only were the Sabres stingy about allowing power-play goals at home, they had a lot more chances -- Buffalo earned 160 power plays at home while allowing opponents only 128.

Special Teams Goal Margin: +18
The Sabres' power play outscored the opposition 34-13 at HSBC Arena. Oddly, though Buffalo had the NHL's best penalty kill at home, the Sabres were one of only two teams that didn't score a shorthanded goal on home ice.       

Goals by defensemen: 31   
The arrival of rookie Tyler Myers and his 11 goals gave a big boost to the back line. No other defenseman had more than five goals.

Overtime Record
Total: 10-4-6
OT: 6-4 SO: 4-6
Vezina Trophy winner Ryan Miller was just 4-4 in shootouts; backup Patrick Lalime lost both of his and allowed five goals on 13 attempts.
     
Times Scored First: 41 Record: 31-6-4   
The Sabres did a good job of converting game-opening goals to victories; their .756 winning percentage when scoring first was tied for fourth in the League.        

Best 09-10 Number: 0
Points lost by the Sabres in games in which they led after two periods. Buffalo was 30-0-0 when leading after 40 minutes and was the only team to take home every possible point when ahead after two periods.

Worst 09-10 Number: 1-4-2
Buffalo's won-lost record in February, easily the Sabres' worst mark of any month last season -- and the biggest reason they had to settle for third place in the East.
    
Scheduling
The Sabres have a good chance to get off to a fast start, with four of their first five games at home. A season-long six-game homestand comes at the end of February, followed immediately by a seven-game road trip. Buffalo plays its last seven games outside the Northeast Division.
Quote of the Day

What we expected is what we got. Very mature young individual that's focused. He is on the right track. He's not only a great hockey individual, but he's a good person off the ice. He seemed to take a leadership role with this group right off the hop and ran away with it, and was vocal, was respectful, was everything it takes to be a Panther. His future looks bright.

— Florida Panthers director of player development Brian Skrudland on defenseman Aaron Ekblad's performance at development camp