The Sabres are rolling with three consecutive victories and are looking to sweep the road trip with tonight’s game in Tampa Bay.
This is the first of four meetings this season with the Lightning. The teams split the season series last year, each winning a pair of games. Out of the last dozen games in Tampa Bay, the Lightning have beaten the Sabres in 10 of them.
Ryan Miller has been a catalyst on the back end, allowing one goal in the past two games. With Jhonas Enroth looking for his own chance, Miller has showed, so far, that he remains the number one goaltender.
Both teams have a goaltending dilemma coming into tonight’s game. Lindy Ruff stated that Jhonas Enroth would receive a start on the road trip, with tonight being the final game of that trip. While it is likely, Enroth will start tonight, it’s tough to sit Miller with how well he has been playing.
In Tampa, keep an eye on the fact that Lightning goaltender Dwayne Roloson has never recorded a win against his former team. Roloson is 0-7-1-1 against the Sabres with a 4.05 GAA and .844 save percentage.
Mathieu Garon is another option, and he has put up a 1.93 GAA and .938 save percentage in four games played. However, his stats against Buffalo are not impressive either. In eight games, he has gone 1-7 with 3.61 GAA and a .878 save percentage.
On offense, Thomas Vanek is currently at a goal per game pace, lighting the lamp six times in this young season. He is also about to play two games against Tampa Bay, a team he has clobbered throughout his career.
In 24 games against the Lightning, Vanek has recorded 22 goals and seven assists for 29 points. 7 of those goals have been game-winners.
Tampa Bay are sitting at 2-3-2 to start the season and have allowed 27 goals in seven games, while scoring 22.
The Sabres lead the Northeast division by a point as they head into Tampa Bay. 2nd place Toronto will be in Montreal, but a win for Buffalo will keep them atop the division.