NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, January 30th
(All times eastern)
Buffalo Sabres (22-21-6) at Florida Panthers (22-24-5), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Buffalo Sabres continue their season-long road trip
tonight, when they pay a visit to Florida and the BankAtlantic Center to take
on the Panthers.
Buffalo dropped the first two tests of this seven-game swing in regulation,
but have rebounded to win two in a row. The Sabres captured a victory over
Dallas right before the All-Star break, then came out of the layoff to post a
4-2 victory over Tampa Bay.
Jason Pominville registered a goal and two assists in the win, while Clarke
MacArthur and Derek Roy each posted a goal and an assist. Roy's helper on Drew
Stafford's second-period goal was the 100th of his career.
For Pominville, it upped his team-leading points total to 41, and he has 12
goals and 29 assists this season. His three-point night halted a three-game
pointless stretch and was just his second multiple-point game of the month.
Toni Lydman and Jochen Hecht each had a pair of helpers for the Sabres, whose
two-game win streak follows a stretch that saw the club lose 12 of 13. Ryan
Miller made 23 saves to notch his 20th win of the season.
Buffalo is 10-13-4 on the road this season and will also visit Atlanta and
Boston on this trek.
The Panthers continue a four-game homestand tonight that is split between the
All-Star break. Florida posted a big win in the opener of the stand, as the
club knocked off Ottawa on January 22, but then suffered a 4-3 shootout
setback to Edmonton last Thursday.
After Edmonton's Mathieu Garon denied Nathan Horton in the first round of the
shootout, Shawn Horcoff faked out Florida netminder Tomas Vokoun and
backhanded the puck into the net to get the Oilers on the board. Garon then
forced Kamil Kreps' shot wide of the net in the second round, and after Sam
Gagner failed to clinch the shootout for Edmonton, Garon shut the door on Olli
Jokinen's snap shot and the Oilers won their league-best 12th shootout on the
Jokinen did manage to score in regulation for his team-leading 24th goal of
the season. That is 10 more tallies than Florida's second-leading goal scorer,
Jokinen also had an assist in the loss, while Brett McLean posted a goal and
an assist as well for the Panthers, who lost for the fifth time in seven
games. Gregory Campbell had a shorthanded goal for Florida and Vokoun had a
strong game, making 37 saves.
Campbell has both of Florida's goals with the team down a man this season.
The Panthers will get Jozef Stumpel back in the lineup tonight after the
forward missed the last seven games due to a shoulder injury. He has six goals
and 12 assists in 44 games this year.
Florida enters this game five points back of first-place Carolina in the
Southeast Division and is 10-11-4 as the host this year. The Panthers have
lost seven of their last eight in Sunrise, though, and wrap their residency on
Friday in Vancouver.
Buffalo and Florida have split two meetings so far this year, with each team
winning once on enemy ice. The Sabres have won five of their last seven
against the Panthers and two straight in Florida.
01/30 10:25:19 ET