The Buffalo Sabres are fortunate to still be within striking distance of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
With one win in their last five games, the Sabres hope to rejuvenate their push for the postseason as they visit the Florida Panthers.
Closing out a three-game road trip, the Sabres are six points behind the New York Islanders for eighth place in the East with eight games remaining.
“I think we’re a confident group that thinks they can win six of the next eight or whatever we need to win,” Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said after Buffalo’s 3-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday.
The Sabres are catching a break in their schedule, playing five of their next six against teams below .500. During the stretch, they’ll have a home-and-home series with the league-worst Pittsburgh Penguins.
“The pressure keeps coming, but I think guys are realizing it’s fun also,” Noronen said. “Every game is a big game.”
The Panthers, who trail the Islanders by nine points, had a three-game winning streak snapped with a 3-2 loss to the Atlanta Thrashers on Friday.
Mikael Samuelsson scored his second goal in as many games to put Florida ahead 2-1 5 1/2 minutes into the third period, but the Panthers allowed two goals in the final two minutes, including Ilya Kovalchuk’s game-winner with 23.7 seconds remaining.