The Sabres are in Raleigh tonight to take on the Carolina Hurricanes. This is the third and final meeting between the two clubs this season. They split the first to meetings with the Sabres winning the most recent in February.
Prior to leaving for Raleigh, the Sabres were on ice for practice when Ted Nolan became frustrated with the lack of effort the team was putting in. Nolan pushed the players and put them through rigorous ‘bag-skates’ for 20 minutes (think Miracle) before leaving the practice.
After Nolan’s departure the veteran leaders of this team led a players only meeting to close out the practice. “Even if we are last place, the type of transition we’re going through here with this rebuild, the philosophies and the way that we want to play, it starts in practice,” said Drew Stafford who was one of those leaders.
Buffalo will look to come in and play a hard-working game against a Carolina team who has been struggling since returning from the Olympic break. The Hurricanes found themselves in the middle of the playoff race upon returning from the Olympics, going 1-6-1 in that stretch.
They now find themselves on the outside looking in. Nothing short of an impressive run to close out the season will find the Hurricanes in contention for a playoff spot. The run would have to start tonight at home against the Sabres as they Hurricanes play 10 out of their remaining 16 games on the road; somewhere they have struggled this season.
The Sabres will likely be missing newly-acquired Chris Stewart for the rest of the season after a knee-on-knee collision with the Tampa Bay Lightning‘s goaltender. Zemgus Girgensons and Torrey Mitchell have missed the previous three games and are likely to miss tonight’s as well.
Alexander Sulzer is listed as day-to-day. The Hurricanes will be without John-Michael Liles who suffered a concussion, however will likely see the return of Justin Faulk who suffered and upper body injury earlier this march.
Puck drop is at 7 p.m. EST and can be seen on MSG and Bell-TV (CAN).