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Good luck coming late against the Sabres

by John Kreiser
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.
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