Buffalo needs 1 point in the final two games this weekend. The Sabres host Philadelphia on Friday and visit Columbus on Saturday.
IF the Sabres fail to earn a point in their final two games, they will have to hope Carolina or the Rangers lose. The Rangers have one game left, which is against New Jersey. If New York fails to get both of those points, Buffalo clinches.
IF the Rangers win their final game and the Sabres lose both of theirs in regulation, it will come down to Carolina, who visits Atlanta on Friday and hosts Tampa Bay on Saturday. If the Hurricanes miss out on just one of those four points, the Sabres are in.
Basically, there are five games remaining where the Sabres can clinch:
Philadelphia @ Buffalo 7:30
Carolina @ Atlanta 7:30
New Jersey @ Rangers 12:30
Tampa Bay @ Carolina 7:00
Buffalo @ Columbus 7:00
The Sabres do have the opportunity to finish ahead of Montreal, but are two points back with a game in hand. Buffalo would have to win both of its final games and hope that the Canadiens lose to Toronto on Saturday.
We will give you another update after Friday’s games, and we will break down potential first round opponents IF the Sabres can clinch. Don’t assume the Sabres will just clinch easily.
Carolina is desperate and will be playing the Thrashers, who just played on Thursday. Philadelphia and Columbus will not be easy for Buffalo. With New York having one game left, they could be out even if they win, so they will be desperate as well.