The Buffalo Sabres burst into tonight’s match-up with the Carolina Hurricanes, fresh off of a 4-2 win against the Philadelphia Flyers on Friday night. The game headed into the third period at a scoreless tie but Ryan O’Reilly and eventual trade bait Evander Kane got on the board for Buffalo. Robin Lehner started Friday’s game, turning aside 33 shots.
Tonight’s game marks the beginning of a three-game homestand at PNC Arena for Carolina where they are 7-4-3. If the Hurricanes win tonight, they would capture 12 out of 20 points in a brutal 10 game stretch of December. After a rough game against Toronto, Jeff Skinner turned his play around in a great game against Nashville, recording a pair of assists. Noah Hanifin is fresh off what may be his best game of the season, recording a goal and two assists.
The Canes hope to keep that momentum rolling as they head into the Christmas break.
Here are tonight’s lines for the Hurricanes:
Sebastian Aho - Jordan Staal - Teuvo Teravainen
Jeff Skinner - Victor Rask - Elias Lindholm
Brock McGinn - Derek Ryan - Justin Williams
Joakim Nordstrom - Marcus Kruger - Phil di Giuseppe
Jaccob Slavin - Brett Pesce
Klas Dahlbeck - Justin Faulk
Noah Hanifin - Trevor van Riemsdyk
The Sabres had to catch a flight to Raleigh last night after taking down the Flyers on home ice and improving to 9-19-7 on the season, which is good for sole possession of last place in the Eastern Conference.
With Lehner coming off of a busy night in Buffalo, Chad Johnson is expected to get the nod in net for the road team. Johnson holds a lifetime 7-2-1 record against the Carolina, the team he has faced the most throughout his career (10 appearances) and experienced the most success against.
The club didn’t skate today, but here’s how they lined up in their win last night, excluding the change in net:
Zemgus Girgensons - Jack Eichel - Sam Reinhart
Evander Kane - Ryan O’Reilly - Kyle Okposo
Benoit Pouliot - Jacob Josefson - Jason Pominville
Scott Wilson - Johan Larsson - Jordan Nolan
Marco Scandella - Rasmus Ristolainen
Jake McCabe - Zach Bogosian
Josh Gorges - Nathan Beaulieu