NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, November 18th
(All times eastern)
Buffalo Sabres (11-7-0) at Carolina Hurricanes (6-10-3), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Buffalo Sabres will try to avoid losing consecutive
games for the first time in over two weeks when they visit the struggling
Carolina Hurricanes tonight at RBC Center.
Buffalo is coming off Wednesday's 5-3 home loss to New Jersey, marking the
club's second setback in three games. The Sabres haven't dropped two in a row
since losses to Florida and Philadelphia on Oct. 29 and Nov. 2, respectively.
Ryan Miller, Buffalo's No. 1 goaltender, has not been available in each of the
club's last two games, as he's sidelined indefinitely after sustaining a
concussion Saturday in a 6-2 loss at Boston. Miller suffered the head injury
on a collision with Bruins forward Milan Lucic and the former Vezina Trophy
winner is also suffering from whiplash.
Jhonas Enroth played well in his first start following the Miller injury,
stopping 25-of-27 shots in Monday's 3-2 win over the Canadiens. However, the
young Swede was torched for five goals on just 19 shots in Wednesday's loss to
Enroth was pulled with a little over 10 minutes to play and Drew MacIntyre
stopped the two shots he faced in relief.
"It was a bad game on my side and that's a shame because the guys played
really good tonight," said Enroth. "I let in some bad goals and let the guys
down. Rough night."
It was the first loss of the season for Enroth, who is 6-1-0 with an excellent
.926 save percentage on the season. Despite the bad outing, Enroth is
expected to get the call tonight over MacIntyre,
Tyler Myers scored twice on Wednesday after he was a healthy scratch for
Monday's game against Montreal. The goals were the first two of the season for
the third-year defenseman, who was the NHL's rookie of the year in 2009-10.
Jordan Leopold had the other goal for the Sabres, who had won five of six
before the loss to Jersey.
Sabres forward Cody McCormick sat out Wednesday's game with an undisclosed
injury and he is questionable for tonight's tilt.
Carolina. meanwhile, has been unable to get anything going lately, losing six
of seven, seven of nine and 10 of its last 13 games. The Hurricanes recorded
just their sixth win of the year Saturday against visiting Pittsburgh, but has
since lost games to Philadelphia and Montreal.
After dropping a 5-3 decision to visiting Philly on Monday, the 'Canes were
dealt a 4-0 setback Wednesday in Montreal. Carey Price stopped all 25 shots
sent his way by Carolina in the easy win for the Habs.
Cam Ward surrendered all four goals on 36 shots for the Hurricanes, who are
ahead of only the New York Islanders in the Eastern Conference standings.
"We didn't play. We got what we deserved," said Carolina captain Eric Staal.
"There's no question there is concern in here. We have to get back to a
winning formula at some point. If we keep losing we'll be out [of playoff
contention] before you know it."
Staal is one of many Hurricanes who are struggling to produce in the early
going. The centerman has recorded 70 or more points in each of the previous
six seasons, but he has just four goals, four assists and a dreadful minus-18
rating through 19 games this season.
Carolina recorded a 4-3 win in Buffalo on Oct. 14, giving the Hurricanes three
wins in the last four meetings of this series. The Sabres have three wins in
their last five trips to Raleigh and three of those encounters went past
Buffalo is 6-2-0 on the road this season, while the Hurricanes are 4-4-1 as
the host. Tonight's test marks the first of two straight on home ice for
Carolina, which will also welcome Toronto on Sunday.
11/18 10:46:31 ET