Wednesday night marks the third and final meeting between the top team in the Eastern conference and the bottom team in the East, with the Buffalo Sabres playing host to the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Penguins took the first two meetings between the clubs this season.
This is the second to last game the Sabres will play before sending Ryan Miller, Jhonas Enroth, Henrik Tallinder, and Zemgus Girgensons to represent their respective countries at this years Olympic games.
The Sabres struggling offense will look for new ways to score goals as they will continue to be without their leading goal scorer Matt Moulson who has been placed on injured reserve and who will likely miss time after the Olympic break. It certainly isn’t evident in the win column, but the Sabres have been scoring more goals. Their GPG (goals per game) count has been steadily increasing over the last month where it saw a rise to 1.84, nearly a .20 GPG increase over the previous month. This can be attributed to the return of Cody Hodgson in the line up. In 12 games since his return he has scored 6 goals and 5 assists. Though the Sabres have picked up their scoring as of late they have without a question struggled to solve Marc-Andre Fluery. In the first two meetings Fluery has stopped 44 out of the 45 shots that Buffalo has sent his way.
Marc-Adre Fluery and the Penguins look to continue their dominant play that has found them at first in the Eastern conference and third in the league with 80 points. With his win against Ottawa the other night, Fluery has become the quickest goaltender in Pittsburgh Penguins history to record 30 wins while managing only 13 regulation losses and 1 overtime loss. Throughout this stretch he has posted a 2.25 goals against average and a .917 save percentage. Though these numbers are by no means spectacular, they show that Fluery is one again solidifying himself as one of the most consistent regular season goalies in the league.
Buffalo will be without Matt Moulson and Cody McCormick who are on the injured reserve list. Defense men Tyler Myers and Mike Weber are questionable for tonight’s game and are both listed as day to day. The Penguins will be missing defense man Kris Letang while also missing forwards Taylor Pyatt, Beau Bennett, Pascal Dupuis, Chris Conner, and Joe Vitale.
Puck will drop at 7:30 p.m. The game can be seen on NBCSN and TSN.