NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, November 19th
(All times Eastern)
Phoenix Coyotes (9-5-3) at Buffalo Sabres (12-7-0), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Buffalo Sabres needed very little offense to pick up a
win on Friday night and the Northeast Division leaders will be right back at
it when they host the Phoenix Coyotes tonight at First Niagara Center.
The Sabres posted a 1-0 victory in Carolina on Friday, as Jhonas Enroth
recorded a shutout and Jason Pominville scored the game's only goal in the
It was the second win in three games for Buffalo and Lindy Ruff's team is 6-2
over its last eight trips to the ice. However, tonight marks the first of two
in a row on home ice, where the Sabres are just 5-5-0 on the season.
Enroth rebounded from a subpar performance in his last outing to backstop the
Sabres to the win over the Hurricanes. Enroth recorded 14 of his 34 saves in
the third period Friday night and notched his second career shutout. The
Swedish netminder was pulled Wednesday against New Jersey after surrendering
five goals on 19 shots.
Enroth is Buffalo's de facto No. 1 goaltender since Ryan Miller has not been
available in each of the club's last three games. Miller is sidelined
indefinitely after sustaining a concussion last 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 dealing with whiplash.
It's unclear if Enroth will play this evening on back-to-back nights or if
backup Drew MacIntyre will get the first start of his NHL career. MacIntyre
has seen action in three NHL games, including one this season when he replaced
Enroth in Wednesday's game against New Jersey.
Pominville and Thomas Vanek enter tonight riding six-game point streaks for
Buffalo and both players have recorded three goals and five assists during
The Sabres have won five straight in the series against Phoenix and the
Coyotes haven't defeated Buffalo since a 6-2 victory in the desert on Jan. 21,
2008. Buffalo has won its last two home tests against the Coyotes, but Phoenix
had won eight in a row on the road in this series prior to the previous two
matchups in western New York.
The Coyotes, meanwhile, will try to bounce back after suffering a tough loss
Thursday in Philadelphia. Phoenix left the City of Brotherly Love without a
point, as Matt Read scored with 18.6 seconds left in the third period to lift
the Flyers to a 2-1 decision.
Former Coyotes goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov also made 30 saves against his former
team to pick up the win for Philly. Bryzgalov had spent his previous four
seasons with Phoenix and guided the team to the playoffs in the last two. He
signed a nine-year, $51 million deal with the Flyers in the offseason.
Mikkel Boedker scored the lone goal for the Coyotes, who had a five-game road
winning streak stopped and also failed to gain a point for the first time in
Mike Smith was excellent in net for Phoenix, making 40 stops in the loss.
Bryzgalov's replacement is 8-3-3 with a 2.17 goals-against average and .934
save percentage this season.
"He gives us the chance to win every night and that's all you can ask from any
goaltender," said Phoenix head coach Dave Tippett.
Phoenix, which will cap a five-game road trip Monday in Washington, is 5-2-1
as the guest this season.
The Coyotes have played the last four games without veteran center Daymond
Langkow, who left the team last week to deal with a death in the family.
Langkow, who has three goals and five assists this year, will not join Phoenix
for the rest of the road trip. He is expected to play when the Coyotes host
Anaheim on Wednesday.
11/19 10:39:14 ET