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Reeling Sabres take on Panthers

(SportsNetwork.com) - Frustration continues to mount for the Buffalo Sabres, who now have two skaters set to serve lengthy suspension for dangerous hits.

The Sabres look to reel in their emotions on Friday night and avoid a fourth straight setback as they visit the Florida Panthers.

Buffalo has dropped three in a row in regulation since its lone victory of the season on Oct. 15 at the New York Islanders. The Sabres fell to 0-6-1 on home ice with Wednesday's 5-2 setback to the Boston Bruins.

The game took an ugly turn late in the third period when Buffalo's John Scott delivered a shot to the head of Boston's Loui Eriksson, who had to be helped off the ice and did not return to the game. Scott then dropped the gloves with Adam McQuaid, getting assessed five minutes for fighting and a 10-minute match penalty.

On Thursday, it was revealed Scott will have an in-person hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety, meaning he is likely facing a ban of at least five games.

"It happened pretty fast. I just thought I was completing a check but obviously I kind of, you know, hit his head and it wasn't exactly what I was aiming for,"Scott said on Buffalo's. "I didn't want to do that. It was just a bad play and it's unfortunate what happened."

The knowledge of Scott's hearing came on the same day that commissioner Gary Bettman upheld Patrick Kaleta's 10-game suspension for a hit to the head of Columbus defenseman Jack Johnson on Oct. 10.

There were some bright spots in Wednesday's loss as Cody Hodgson scored his third goal of the season, notching his team-leading eighth point. Also, defenseman Nikita Zadorov scored his first NHL in his second career game, becoming the second-youngest Sabre to score at 18 years and 191 days.

Pierre Turgeon is the youngest, having lit the lamp at the age of 18 years, 54 days on Oct. 21, 1987.

"I thought our young guys have been really good," said Sabres head coach Ron Rolston about Zadorov. "He's been one of our better guys out there."

Buffalo is set to play two straight on the road as it will visit the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday. Both Ryan Miller and Jhonas Enroth are expected to get a start on the trip.

Enroth has never faced the Panthers, while Miller is 14-9-2 with a pair of shutouts and 2.43 goals against average in 25 career meetings.

Injured forwards Ville Leino and Cody McCormick were both expected to make the trip to Florida and could return this weekend. Leino has played in just one game this year because of a fractured rib, while McCormick has missed the last two with a foot injury.

The Panthers, meanwhile, will be without goaltender Tim Thomas for this contest after he exited Tuesday's shootout loss to the Chicago Blackhawks with a groin strain.

Thomas, who suffered a similar injury on Oct. 8 against Philadelphia, had to come out with less than three minutes to go in the third period after making 25 saves. He was placed on injured reserve and had made three straight starts after missing four in a row with the earlier injury.

Jacob Markstrom replaced Thomas on Tuesday and made two saves, but gave up a pair of goals in the shootout to take the loss.

Markstrom is likely to start tonight and won his only previous meeting with the Sabres despite giving up four goals on 40 shots. Scott Clemmensen was recalled from San Antonio of the American Hockey League to serve as the backup.

Tuesday marked Florida's second straight comeback that went to a shootout. The Panthers scored once in the third period to beat the Minnesota Wild 2-1 last Saturday and got third-period tallies from Tomas Fleischmann and Dmitry Kulikov to force extra time with the Blackhawks.

"I liked the overall effort tonight. We pushed hard. We had a little trouble finding our range. We need to bring the shotguns out. We were spraying them all over the place. We need to hit the net. But I liked the way we pushed when the score was even, when we got down a couple. We just kind of kept our composure and just the tone of the game," said Panthers head coach Kevin Dineen.

"At the end, you only end up with one point, but sometimes as a coach you don't always judge it on the final outcome. I think there's a tuckered-out bunch in there. They worked their tails off."

Florida fell to 1-1-1 on a season-long, six-game homestand and has lost four of its past five overall.

Panthers forward Aleksander Barkov had an assist and is tied for fourth in the NHL in rookie scoring with seven points, notching three goals and four assists.

The Panthers won two of three versus the Sabres last season, splitting two games in Florida in a shootout.

Buffalo has not lost two straight in Sunrise since a three-game slide from Oct. 15, 2005-Dec. 7, 2006.

10/25 10:51:12 ET

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Schedule

Saturday, April 19Full Scoreboard
Chicago33rd Prd | Box
St. Louis3@theRink | TV: NBC, CBC, RDS
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. St. Louis leads series, 1-0.
Columbus 4/19 7:00 PM ET
Pittsburgh @theRink | TV: NBCSN, CBC, FSN-OH, ROOT
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. Pittsburgh leads series, 1-0.
Minnesota 4/19 9:30 PM ET
Colorado NBC, CBC, RDS
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. Colorado leads series, 1-0.
Full Scoreboard

Standings

2013 - 2014 NHL Eastern Conference Standings
 
Atlantic Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
p-Boston 54 19 9 117 261 177 31-7-3 23-12-6 18-9-3
x-Tampa Bay 46 27 9 101 240 215 25-10-6 21-17-3 19-8-3
x-Montreal 46 28 8 100 215 204 23-13-5 23-15-3 18-8-4
x-Detroit 39 28 15 93 222 230 18-13-10 21-15-5 17-8-5
Ottawa 37 31 14 88 236 265 18-17-6 19-14-8 14-9-7
Toronto 38 36 8 84 231 256 24-16-1 14-20-7 14-13-3
Florida 29 45 8 66 196 268 16-20-5 13-25-3 13-16-1
Buffalo 21 51 10 52 157 248 13-21-7 8-30-3 7-18-5
 
Metropolitan Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Pittsburgh 51 24 7 109 249 207 28-9-4 23-15-3 20-8-2
x-NY Rangers 45 31 6 96 218 193 20-17-4 25-14-2 16-11-3
x-Philadelphia 42 30 10 94 236 235 24-14-3 18-16-7 15-11-4
x-Columbus 43 32 7 93 231 216 22-15-4 21-17-3 16-13-1
Washington 38 30 14 90 235 240 21-13-7 17-17-7 12-15-3
New Jersey 35 29 18 88 197 208 21-11-9 14-18-9 16-9-5
Carolina 36 35 11 83 207 230 18-17-6 18-18-5 15-13-2
NY Islanders 34 37 11 79 225 267 13-19-9 21-18-2 10-16-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
2013 - 2014 NHL Western Conference Standings
 
Central Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Colorado 52 22 8 112 250 220 26-11-4 26-11-4 19-6-3
x-St. Louis 52 23 7 111 248 191 28-9-4 24-14-3 21-6-2
x-Chicago 46 21 15 107 267 220 27-7-7 19-14-8 13-13-3
x-Minnesota 43 27 12 98 207 206 26-10-5 17-17-7 14-12-3
x-Dallas 40 31 11 91 235 228 23-11-7 17-20-4 13-11-5
Nashville 38 32 12 88 216 242 19-17-5 19-15-7 12-13-4
Winnipeg 37 35 10 84 227 237 18-17-6 19-18-4 9-15-5
 
Pacific Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
z-Anaheim 54 20 8 116 266 209 29-8-4 25-12-4 22-4-3
x-San Jose 51 22 9 111 249 200 29-7-5 22-15-4 18-7-3
x-Los Angeles 46 28 8 100 206 174 23-14-4 23-14-4 16-10-3
Phoenix 37 30 15 89 216 231 22-14-5 15-16-10 14-9-6
Vancouver 36 35 11 83 196 223 20-15-6 16-20-5 12-13-4
Calgary 35 40 7 77 209 241 19-19-3 16-21-4 11-15-3
Edmonton 29 44 9 67 203 270 16-22-3 13-22-6 8-17-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
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Scoreboard
Local
7:05pm Tonight
NOR
DUR
 
Final
WAS 3
STL 4
Final
CLE 0
TOR 5
Final
DET 5
ANA 2
Final
BOS 4
BAL 2
Final
KAN 5
MIN 4
Final
CHC 8
CIN 4
6th
OAK 1
HOU 3
 
7:05pm Tonight
PIT
MIL
7:10pm Tonight
NYM
ATL
7:10pm Tonight
TAM
NYY
7:10pm Tonight
MIA
SEA
8:05pm Tonight
TEX
CWS
8:10pm Tonight
LOS
ARI
8:10pm Tonight
COL
PHI
8:40pm Tonight
SDP
SFG
Final
TOR 87
BRK 94
4th
LAC 104
GSW 105
 
7:00pm Tonight
IND
ATL
9:30pm Tonight
OKC
MEM
2nd Intermission
STL 3
CHI 3
 
7:00pm Tonight
PIT
CLB
9:30pm Tonight
COL
MIN
7:05pm Tonight
NOR
DUR