Sabres look to rebound against Colorado

Christmas came early for the Buffalo Sabres as they received a three-day break from action following a 5-1 thumping on Tuesday evening at the hands of the Winnipeg Jets. Prior to the loss on Tuesday Buffalo had won four straight and seven-of-nine games dating back to a 2-1 victory over Montreal on November, 28.

Against the Jets, Buffalo took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission on a Nikita Zadarov powerplay goal, his third goal on the season. Winnipeg went on to pour in three goals in the second en route to the victory, including two goals from Mark Scheifele.

Saturday evening the Sabres welcome the Colorado Avalanche to town, a team they haven’t beaten since December 4, 2005 a 6-4 victory. Their most recent meeting Colorado won 7-1 scoring five against former Sabre, Ryan Miller before he was pulled at the second intermission in favor of Saturday’s probable starter Jhonas Enroth.

The Avalanche enter the contest having only been victorious once in their last seven outings including three losses by way of overtime/shootout. Their lone win coming against Winnipeg 4-3 in a shootout on December 11. Prior to this recent streak, the Avs won five-of-seven dating back to November 13. Colorado is led by Matt Duchene who has 10 goals and 20 points and defenseman Tyson Barrie who has three goals and has tallied 17 assists. There are three players who have 19 points each. In net, Semyon Varlamov has led the trio of goaltenders with 15 starts while posting a 3.22 goals against and .909 save percentage. Calvin Pickard has eight starts and a 2.27 goals against and a .934 save percentage while Reto Berra has eight starts also and a 3.57 goals against accompanied by an .882 save percentage.

For the home side Buffalo, they enter tonight’s contest on three day’s rest after a 5-1 defeat in Winnipeg on Tuesday night. Tyler Ennis paces the way offensively for Buffalo with eight goals and 14 assists while All-Star Game vote leader, Zemgus Girgensons has nine goals and 17 points. Jhonas Enroth continues to be solid for the Sabres with a 2.96 goals against average and a .916 save percentage whereas his counterpart Michal Neuvirth has a 3.06 goals against and a .915 save percentage. Ted Nolan told media on Friday that Josh Gorges is likely to return to game action against the Avalanche on Saturday night.

Tonight’s contest is scheduled for a 7:00 p.m. puck drop inside the First Niagara Center with TV coverage on MSG-B for the home side and ALT2 in the Denver, Colorado area.

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