The Buffalo Sabres are looking to continue their home winning ways after Saturday's 3-2 win against the Washington Capitals. Unfortunately for them, it comes against another tough opponent in the Vancouver Canucks. The Canucks are currently leading the Northwest Division with 22 points and are coming off their own 5-3 victory against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday.
When you talk about how good the Canucks are, the conversation usually starts with Roberto Luongo. Luongo has been an all-star goalie for his NHL career and against the Buffalo Sabres, that doesn't change. Luongo has a 1.99 GAA in 16 starts, second among all the teams Luongo has faced. Last year, Luongo allowed two goals on 32 shots in the Canucks 3-2 win at GM Place.
In front of Luongo are the Sedin twins who are always dangerous in the offensive zone. Hart trophy winner and newly elected captain, Henrik Sedin, is the team leader in assists while his brother, Daniel, leads the team in goals. Both have been an offensive powerhouse since their rookie years in 2000. While the Sedin twins are the key to the Canucks offense, they aren't the only players to watch on the ice. Ryan Kesler has nine goals on the season and former Sabre Raffi Torres has been on a tear as of late, scoring five goals in a three game stretch at the beginning of the month.
Ryan Miller should be in net for the Buffalo Sabres as he tries to get back into his rhythm of the season. After the first five minutes on Saturday night, Miller looked composed for the rest of the game and the stop on the Ovechkin breakaway gave Miller that confidence that seemed to have been lacking for the first part of the season. In four career games against the Canucks, Miller is 2-2 with a 2.72 GAA and .894 SV%, the latter being the fourth worst against all of the teams Miller has faced. Miller's last win against the Canucks was a 5-2 victory on October 17, 2008.
Thomas Vanek should be the player to watch against the Canucks as his two goals against the Capitals should give him the confidence that seems to have been lacking for most of this season. As Sabres fans, we can only hope that Vanek starts converting on more chances as he has shown flashes of being a 50 goal scorer, but has never breached the threshold.
As far as the rest of the lineup, there shouldn't be any changes from Saturday night. Mike Weber, Craig Rivet, Nathan Gerbe, and Drew Stafford should be scratches for the team barring any changes in health.