The Buffalo Sabres (15-33-8) have had their struggles all season, but this recent three-game losing streak could be one of their worst slumps this year. Four goals for, and 15 goals against in three games, and humiliation against teams like the Colorado Avalanche and the Pittsburgh Penguins. Buffalo looks to enter the Olympic Break on a high note on Thursday night against the Ottawa Senators (25-21-11) from Canada’s capital.
On Wednesday, Buffalo squandered another early lead, and ended up giving up five unanswered goals against the Penguins. Sabres interim head coach, Ted Nolan, was not pleased with his team’s performance against a high-powered Penguins team.
“[The Pittsburgh Penguins] a very talented team. We made mistakes at the wrong times,” Nolan said. “It had nothing to do with Ryan [Miller]. It was the guys in front of him. We had some guys who were no-shows tonight.”
Ryan Miller made 29 saves on Wednesday in front of his coach for Team USA, Dan Bylsma. It could also have been Ryan Miller’s last performance in a Sabres uniform at the First Niagara Center. In any matter, Miller is ready to forget about Wednesday and move on to Thursday in Ottawa.
“Stuff happens out there, and you reset, learn from it and move on,” Miller said. Miller also added that he would be ready to go in the net for the Sabres if called upon.
For the Ottawa Senators, they are coming off of a 5-4 win against the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday night. The Senators have only two Olympians going to Sochi, as Milan Michalek will play for the Czech Republic and Erik Karlsson will represent Sweden. After Thursday, Ottawa will play Saturday against the Boston Bruins before the Olympic Break.
Buffalo is expected to get Tyler Myers back in the lineup after sitting out Wednesday’s game with a lower-body injury. Matt Moulson is on injured reserve with his upper-body injury, and Cody McCormick has been practicing, but is still not ready for action.
Ottawa has been relatively healthy with the exception of a couple of defenseman. Mark Stone is on injured reserve with an arm injury, and Chris Phillips remains out indefinitely with a lower-body injury.
Faceoff from the Canadian Tire Centre is expected just after 7 pm. The game can be seen on MSG and Bell TV.