NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, November 10th
(All times eastern)
Buffalo Sabres (4-9-2) at New Jersey Devils (4-10-1), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Two of the league's most disappointing teams will meet
for the third time this season, as the New Jersey Devils host the Buffalo
Sabres tonight at Prudential Center.
The Devils are dead last in the Eastern Conference with just nine points on
the year and Buffalo is not doing much better in the standings, sitting just
one point ahead of New Jersey. Neither team has been able to win a game on
home ice this year and the Devils will try to snap an 0-5-1 start at the
Prudential Center tonight.
The slow starts are surprising considering both clubs are coming off seasons
where they won their respective divisions. New Jersey won the Atlantic and was
second in the conference with 103 points, while the Sabres claimed the
Northeast Division crown by hitting the century mark on the dot.
Jersey began the 2010-11 season series by posting a 1-0 overtime win in
Buffalo on October 13. However, the Sabres exacted revenge and then some
with a 6-1 rout of the Devils in New Jersey on Oct. 23. Thomas Vanek led the
way for the Sabres in the most recent meeting with two goals.
The Devils have five wins in the last eight encounters overall and the clubs
have split the last eight matchups in the Garden State.
The Sabres are coming into tonight off of a win after recording a shootout
victory Saturday night in Toronto. Buffalo had tied the contest at 2-2 on
Jochen Hecht's marker with 13.1 seconds left in regulation and then won it 3-2
when Tyler Ennis scored in the fifth round of the shootout.
Derek Roy also scored in regulation for Buffalo, which snapped a five-game
The Sabres were once again without No. 1 goaltender Ryan Miller, who continues
to be sidelined with a lower-body injury. Miller, last year's Vezina Trophy
winner, is expected to sit out for a fifth straight game tonight.
New Jersey has also been without its franchise goaltender recently and Martin
Brodeur is doubtful for tonight's game as well. Brodeur bruised his right
elbow in Wednesday's game at Chicago and missed the Devils' home game Friday
night against the New York Rangers.
Jhonas Enroth earned his first NHL win on Saturday, stopping 23 shots in
regulation and overtime for the Sabres. With veteran Patrick Lalime now
battling a stomach ailment, Enroth should get the call again tonight while
Miller may have to serve as the backup.
Tonight marks the middle portion of a three-game road trip for the Sabres, who
are 4-3-1 as the visiting team this season. Buffalo will complete the jaunt
tomorrow evening against the New York Rangers.
Without Brodeur, the Devils were dealt a 3-0 loss by the Rangers on Saturday.
Brandon Dubinsky scored twice and Henrik Lundqvist stopped 33 shots to lead
the Blueshirts to the road triumph at Prudential Center.
Johan Hedberg stood in for Brodeur and stopped 17 shots in defeat. Hedberg is
expected to get the start again tonight and it's uncertain if Brodeur can
serve as the backup or if New Jersey will have to use Jeff Frazee in that role
The Devils have scored only 12 times in losing six of their last eight games
(2-6-0) and nearly half of those goals came in Wednesday's 5-3 victory over
"We're not getting the second and third attempts," said New Jersey head coach
John MacLean. "We're getting some shots, we're just not able to get the
rebounds or the bounce that leads to an ugly goal. And, that's what we need."
Forward Brian Rolston is inching closer to a return after missing the last 13
contests due to sports hernia surgery. He has returned to practice and it
seems likely he will return to game action on Friday, though there is a chance
he could return tonight. Rolston had 20 goals in 80 games for the Devils last
Defenseman Colin White is expected to return after sitting out Friday with a
case of the flu.
11/10 10:31:52 ET