This past week, the Buffalo Sabres (11-24-4) came away with points in each of their three games played. Behind the strong play of Ryan Miller, Buffalo has found some momentum and have been playing their best hockey all year. The Sabres look to close out the 2013 calendar year with a win tonight in Winnipeg against the Jets (18-18-5).
The Sabres are coming off of 2-1 a shootout win Sunday afternoon against the Washington Capitals. Drew Stafford was able to get on the board for the Sabres for their only goal in regulation and overtime. In the shootout, Steve Ott came up clutch to give Buffalo the only shootout goal of the game. Ryan Miller was the story of the evening by playing a stellar game and making 49 saves in the win.
Miller continues to bolster his chances at being the starting goaltender in the Sochi Olympics for the United States. However, Miller is not trying to worry too much about the Olympics and who makes the team right now.
“It’s not up to me. It depends on what they think they want to go with,” said Miller. “I think with my experience in tournament play, I think I’ve been pretty good in tournament play over my career, starting back in juniors and college. So those short sequences where you get into a week-and-a-half, two weeks, I’d like to think it’s something I’m pretty good at.”
As for Winnipeg, they are coming off of a 2-1 overtime victory against Colorado on Sunday night. Blake Wheeler was able to beat Avalanche goaltender, Semyon Varlamov with two-seconds left on the clock in overtime to lift the Jets past Colorado.
The last time these two teams played was two weeks ago in Buffalo where the Sabres beat the Jets 4-2. Since then, Buffalo has been 3-1-1, and Winnipeg has been 3-2-0 in that span.
Buffalo seems to be healthy from the flu, but Cody Hodgson still remains day-to-day with his broken finger. Kevin Porter (undisclosed) and Cody McCormick (upper-body) will miss some time still as both of them are on injured reserve.
Winnipeg has had many of their depth players banged up recently. Jim Slater (sports hernia), Paul Postma (blood clot in leg), and Matt Halischuk (right forearm) are all on injured reserve and out indefinitely. Grant Clitsome is listed on injured reserve with an illness, but could return to the lineup as early as tonight.
Opening faceoff from the MTS Centre will drop shortly after 7 p.m.