Cam Ward versus Ryan Miller. Northeast Division versus Southeast Division. Two rabid fanbases that just don't like each other. It sounds like a rivalry to me.
Tonight will mark the 900th career NHL game that Paul Maurice has coached behind the Carolina bench. Maurice will only be the seventh head coach in NHL history to reach that mark for one franchise. His adversary on the other bench is also in that elite group, Lindy Ruff.
The Canes will keep with the same lineup which beat Boston on Wednesday night:
- Chad LaRose, Eric Staal, Jeff Skinner
- Alexei Ponikarovsky, Jussi Jokinen, Tuomo Ruutu
- Jiri Tlusty, Brandon Sutter, Patrick Dwyer
- Zac Dalpe, Tim Brent, Anthony Stewart
- Joni Pitkanen, Jamie McBain
- Bryan Allen, Tim Gleason
- Jay Harrison, Tomas Kaberle
Cam Ward will be in net.
The Sabres are coming off a very successful premiere series in Europe as they defeated both the Kings and Ducks by scores of 4-1, and 4-2. Their first line of Luke Adam, Thomas Vanek, and Jason Pominville is doing most of the damage so far as they have accounted for five goals and 13 points already this season.
The home crowd will be wound up tight tonight and will looking forward to welcoming newcomers Christian Ehrhoff, Robyn Regehr and Ville Leino.
The team has been off since Saturday night and should be recovered from jet lag, but will they be a bit rusty? Buffalo had a slow start at home last year going 0-5-1 before winning a game in their home rink. They don't want to wait that long to get started again this season.
- Brandon Sutter has turned himself around in the faceoff circle so far this season and is winning 61.6% of his draws.
- The teams tied last year's series as they both went 2-1-1 in four games.
- Cam Ward is 6-6-2 with two shutouts in 14 career starts against Buffalo.
- Ryan Miller is 11-5-4 in 20 career appearances against Carolina.
- Tim Gleason has the team's longest point streak with two assists in the last two games. He also leads the entire league in plus/minus with a +5.
- The Canes are 3-18, (16.7%) so far on the powerplay and they are 16-21, (76.2%) killing off penalties.
FS Carolinas will have a pregame show starting at 7 with Bob Harwood and 99.9 The Fan will also have their game preview at 7 with Mike Maniscalco. We will have our open game thread also up at 7.
The puck drops at 7:30.