Buffalo Sabres Look to Clinch Northeast Division

Matthew Hogan@MattNHLHoganAnalyst IMarch 24, 2010

BUFFALO, NY - NOVEMBER 14: Derek Roy #9 and Jason Pominville #29 of the Buffalo Sabres celebrate Pominville's goal in the second period against the Columbus Blue Jackets  on November 14, 2008 at HSBC Arena in Buffalo, New York.  (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
Rick Stewart/Getty Images

The Buffalo Sabres have 11 games remaining in the regular season, and hopefully a lot more after that.

The Sabres currently have a five point lead over the Ottawa Senators in the Northeast Division, with three games in hand.

Unfortunately for Buffalo, its 11 remaining games take place over the course of just 19 days. There are also three sets of back-to-back games left for the Sabres.

Six of the 11 games will be played away from HSBC Arena and seven are against Northeast Division opponents.

The Sabres have put themselves in a great position, but they are going to need some big names to step up in the final stretch. Two of those names are Jason Pominville and Derek Roy—and you better believe they will come through.

Over the course of the last three seasons and this season, Pominville and Roy have flourished in the months of March and April.

In the 2006-07 season, the duo combined for 37 points in 19 games. The following season, they combined for 44 points in 17 games. Last season, Pominville and Roy had 33 points in 19 games.

This season has been no different for the two long-time Sabres. In 11 games so far in March, they have combined for 22 points.

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Buffalo plays the Montreal Canadiens tonight and the Ottawa Senators on Friday. The Sabres can just about lock up the division if they win the next two games against Montreal and Ottawa at HSBC Arena.

“We definitely don’t want to give them any life,” Jason Pominville told the Buffalo News of the Habs and Sens. “Teams are looking up to us and want to catch us. Our confidence is really high right now. The road trip helped us in every way: offense, defense, special teams, starts, everything.”

Even though the Sabres are on a three-game win streak and have created some big distance between them and the rest of the division, there is still a lot of time left.

“[These games are] just as important as last week,” coach Lindy Ruff told the Buffalo News on Tuesday. “We went on the road and we wanted to look to create a little bit of space. Now we’re back home and don’t want to take last week for granted. We worked hard to get a little bit of distance between us.”

If Pominville and Roy continue to do their job, the Sabres could have the division wrapped up by the weekend.

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