After last night's emotional overtime win, the Buffalo Sabres have clinched a spot in the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Technically speaking, they clinched the spot once the game was tied at the end of regulation, but the extra point was the icing on the cake. Following the game, the team headed out to Columbus where it’ll wrap up the regular season tonight when they take on the Blue Jackets.
Buffalo had a team meeting and video session this morning prior to a handful of players taking the ice. Last night's heroes, Nathan Gerbe
and Thomas Vanek
, were on the ice for the optional skate along with forward Patrick Kaleta
, whose status for the game tonight was not confirmed.“Pat has had two regular practice and strength wise, he’s getting close. And he wants to play, but I don’t think he’s physically where he was before the injury happened.”
Head Coach Lindy Ruff discussing Patrick Kaleta
Full Lindy Ruff Interview
Defenseman Andrej Sekera
and forward Mike Grier
have not been cleared to play and will miss tonight’s season finale.
A familiar face will be on the opposing bench tonight as blueliner Craig Rivet suits up for what could possibly be his last NHL game. Rivet was claimed off waivers by Columbus on February 26 and has played in 13 games for the Blue Jackets, tallying one goal and a plus/minus of -7. Rivet came to Buffalo in the summer of 2008 when he signed as a free agent. He played 165 games for the Sabres totaling 42 points (4+38) and 237 penalty minutes.
Don’t forget to tune into MSG tonight at 6:30 for the pregame show and follow all the action with the live updates on Twitter.com/SabresDotCom