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Atlanta Thrashers At Buffalo Sabres: Do Or Die Time.

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A win tonight would increase the Thrashers' playoff odds by 2.5% to 4.9%. Sadly neither the New York Islanders nor the Montreal Canadiens could manage to win last night. Very inconsiderate.

A win is still a win regardless, and it's always enjoyable to beat the Sabres. For some odd reason - maybe it's all of the transplants, maybe it just the fact that they play a really good game against each other - the Sabres and the Thrashers are kind of sort of rivals. Hopefully soon they'll have rival awesome owners, too. Since Terry Pegula's purchased the Sabres, there's a renewed sense of optimism around the team. It's helpful too that Pegula was a season ticket holder and a fan first. He has an emotional investment in the team and seeing it do well. Pegula was introduced to the fans the last time the Thrashers went to Buffalo.

So, anyone know a Thrashers STH with some extra spare change laying around?

Anywho, keep an eye on Tim Stapleton, and the top line of Andrew Ladd, Bryan Little, and Blake Wheeler. Wheeler has three goals and three assists in his last six games, and scored the whoopsie shootout winner on Thursday night. He's settling in to his role in Atlanta quite well. The success of the first line has greatly contributed to the team's recent 4-1-1 stretch in the last six games.

Here's the NHL.com statistical match up (they called us "resurgent." Awww):

STATS
71 GP 70
30 W 34
29 L 28
12 OT 8
72 P 76
0.507 P% 0.543
2.76 G/G 2.83
3.14 GA/G 2.87
19.4 PP% 18.0
76.7 PK% 82.2
31.5 S/G 33.2
32.9 SA/G 30.8
49.2 FO% 47.8