Buffalo has had plenty of success recently while playing at First Niagara Center, they come into tonight riding a 7-2-1 record in their last 10 home games. The Sabres will look to continue their winning ways tonight when they face the Florida Panthers.
Tonight’s game will be the second of four meetings between the new Atlantic Division rivals. Buffalo took the first game 3-1, with Steve Ott scoring the GWG, at Florida on October 25th.
This game will also be the first of three that Tyler Myers will have to sit out due to the suspension he earned for an illegal check to the head of New Jersey forward Dainius Zubrus.
It is likely that the newly named Swedish Olympian Jhonas Enroth will get the start in net tonight as he was primed to get the nod against Carolina, had the game not been postponed. In 12 games started Jhonas Enroth has compiled a record of 1-8-3. Though the record reflects negatively on Enroth, the majority of these games came earlier in the year when the Sabres were at their lowest point, as of now. When Enroth is in net the team has a habit of playing very poorly in front of him, giving up an average of 30 shots on net in each game that he has played. He has shown his ability to be a clutch goaltender at times however it is impossible to expect a stellar performance night in and night out when he is hardly given opportunities to play in games.
There is no perfect formula for winning games in the NHL other than to make sure your guys are performing at their highest level and not allowing their opponents to do the same. For Buffalo this means that Matt Moulson is going to be relied upon heavily to provide offense whether it be in 5 on 5 play or on the power play. This also means that the defense will have to contain Alexander Barkov, a rookie out of the Finnish elite league. Despite being 18, Barkov leads the Florida Panthers in points (22) and assists (15).
The Sabres will be missing Cody Hodgson and Ville Leino who are both skating at practice with non-contact jerseys, as well as Drew Stafford, Cody McCormick, and Henrik Tallinder who are also sidelined with injuries.
Puck drop is set for 7:00 pm and can be seen on MSG-B as well as Bell TV for the Canadian viewers.