The Hurricanes finally got a win on this long, six-game road trip in their first appearance in Las Vegas, winning in a shootout as Cam Ward notched his 300th win. Now, it’s on to Buffalo where the Canes will try to extend a win streak before coming back to home ice.
The Sabres are coming off a disappointing 2-1 road loss to the Flyers on Thursday. But despite losing 11 of 12 games in November, Buffalo had a 2-0-2 stretch in December that showed sign of the Sabres finding a rhythm.
Both the Sabres and the Hurricanes are at the bottom of their respective divisional tables, but Carolina’s 31 points outweighs the Sabres 22 overall.
Carolina beat the Sabres in Buffalo earlier this season, on Nov. 18. How do they plan to do it again? The Hurricanes didn’t skate this morning, but Michael Smith said this morning that things looked a little different at practice yesterday. These are tentative, but line up with how things went yesterday:
Sebastian Aho - Victor Rask - Teuvo Teravainen
Brock McGinn - Jordan Staal - Justin Williams
Jeff Skinner - Derek Ryan - Elias Lindholm
Joakim Nordstrom - Marcus Kruger - Phil Di Giuseppe
Jaccob Slavin - Brett Pesce
Haydn Fleury - Justin Faulk
Noah Hanifin - Trevor van Riemsdyk
Here’s what to expect from the Sabres, based on last night’s lines and pairings and noting that coach Phil Housley announced this morning that the Canes would face backup Chad Johnson tonight:
Kyle Okposo - Zemgus Girgensons - Ryan O’Reilly
Benoit Pouliot - Jack Eichel - Jason Pominville
Evander Kane - Sam Reinhart - Evan Rodrigues
Johan Larsson - Jordan Nolan - Scott Wilson
Marco Scandella - Rasmus Ristolainen
Jack McCabe - Zach Bogosian
Josh Gorges - Justin Falk