Sabres in Raleigh looking for first win of year

Main storyline: One team will leave with a win on Tuesday night, while the other team will be have yet to garner a victory on the young campaign. Buffalo comes into tonight’s match-up having dropped its last two contests to Anaheim and Chicago by a combined score of 11-3, while Carolina enters tonight with two losses, both of which came against the New York Islanders on Friday and Saturday evening.

Season series: This is the first of three match-ups on the season between the two sides, with Carolina hosting two of them.  Last season, the Hurricanes won two of the three contests, including the lone game in Raleigh for the Sabres.  

Where they stand: Both teams have yet to gain two points on the season as Carolina is 0-2-0 on the season, courtesy of the Islanders and Buffalo is 0-3-0, by way of defeats from Anaheim, Chicago and Columbus. 

Recent performance:  The Sabres have been captaining the struggle bus to begin the season, scoring only four goals in three games while yielding 14 goals in those contests, putting them last in the league with a goal differential of -10.  In their most recent outing, the Sabres mustered a total of seven shots in the first two periods against Anaheim and finished with just 12 shots, which was the lowest shot total the Ducks had in one period.  Carolina has not played since Saturday evening on Long Island where they dropped the back end of a home-and-home 4-3.

Buffalo notes: Michal Neuvirth started his first home game as a Sabre and he learned quickly that he’ll see a lot of action, as he faced 17 shots in the first period and 44 on the afternoon against the Ducks.  Drew Stafford leads the Sabres in points with three (0g, 3a) while Tyler Ennis and Zemgus Girgensons are the only players who have found the twine in three games, each having two goals. The same name different spelling defensemen, Andre Benoit and Andrej Mezaros are at the bottom of the pack in plus/minus at -4 and -6 respectively. Jhonas Enroth has started twice this season giving up a total of nine goals  on 87 shots faced while his counterpart has seen action in one game and was scored on five times on 44 shots.

Opponent notes: Carolina’s Jiri Tlusty comes into the game having scored three goals and one assist in two games and for Sabre Andrej Sekera has two helpers along with Alexander Semin.  Cam Ward and Anton Khudobin have split games as Ward yielded five goals in his only appearance while Khudobin allowed four goals. Defenseman Jay Harrison currently sits third in the league in penalty minutes with 19, 17 of which came in the second game against the Islanders.

Conclusion: One team will get a win tonight, one will continue looking for answers as they move forward.  Face-off is scheduled for 7:30p.m. and can be seen on NBCSN.

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