The Buffalo Sabres, (18-17-4) and many of their followers are in town to do battle with the Carolina Hurricanes, (13-21-7) tonight at the RBC. The Hurricanes have a 4-3-3 record in their last 10 games while the Sabres are 3-5-2.
As Carolyn mentioned yesterday, the Carolina coaching staff has mixed up the lines a bit in a quest to find a bonafide number one line. Will they find one in Eric Staal, Tuomo Ruutu, and Jussi Jokinen?
Brett Sutter has been recalled from Charlotte and will center the fourth line in this one. Patrick Dwyer is close to being ready to return to the ice, but he will not play tonight. Jeff Skinner is skating with a yellow jersey but there is no timetable for his return.
Look for Cam Ward to start in net and he'll be facing Ryan Miller, who is just four wins shy of a Buffalo franchise record. Some are asking what is wrong with Miller this year, but few have called out Ward, who is having a less than stellar season himself.
|2011 - Cam Ward||35||2012||13||15||108||3.22||1046||938||.897||1|
|2011 - Ryan Miller||23||1278||10||10||65||3.05||652||587||.900||1|
The Sabres will be trying to put together two wins in a row for the first time in 24 games. Jason Pominville and Thomas Vanek lead Buffalo in scoring.
|2011 - Jason Pominville||39||13||27||40||-4||8||5||1||3||110|
|2011 - Thomas Vanek||39||18||21||39||1||34||8||0||4||115|
According to the Buffalo News, their lines should be as follows:
- Vanek, Hecht, Pominville
- Gerbe, Roy, Stafford
- Kassian, Adam, McCormick
- Kaleta, Gaustad, Ellis
- Ennis, McNabb
- Regehr, Leopold
- Weber, Gragnani
The Hurricanes will be starting the eighth back-to-back set out of 16 for them this season. Tomorrow night they play in Nashville.
The clubs have met twice so far this season and have a split decision with each of them winning once.
The game will not be televised locally. We will have our Open Game Thread and Live Blog with Brian and me reporting from
skid press row starting close to 6:30.