The Buffalo Sabres continue their home stand tonight in the First Niagara Center as they host the New Jersey Devils for the fourth and final time this regular season. The Devils are currently up 2-1 on the season series, but the last meeting resulted in a Shootout win for the Sabres which sparked their recent 5-1-1 run.
Buffalo’s key to continued competitiveness has been Ryan Miller, who has two shutouts and a .979 save percentage in his last seven starts. The offense saw a similar revitalization during the hot stretch, but floundered over the weekend as it scored only three goals in two nights.
The Sabres return to the ice this evening after two days rest following a 2-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night, where for the second game in a row they struggled to get onto the scoreboard.
Ironically, New Jersey can say the opposite of their offense as of late. Despite standing at 14th in the league with an average of 2.6 goals per game this season, the Devils have put up 24 goals in seven games since returning from the All Star break.
New Jersey ventured on a 5-0 run after the shootout loss to Buffalo on January 24th, but have lost their last two contests, including a 3-1 defeat the hands of the Florida Panthers also on Saturday night.
Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff was back in command at practice yesterday afternoon, exactly one week after an accidental collision with Jordan Leopold which left Ruff with three broken ribs. Although improving, it appears that Ruff will continue to sit in the coaching box rather than behind the bench for the foreseeable future during games. Assistant coach James Patrick will act as the head coach for his fourth straight contest.
Tonight’s puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 EST. Fans can catch the action on MSG, or listen in through WGR 550.