The Buffalo Sabres played the Florida Panthers on October 20th and shutout the Panthers on their home ice, 3-0. Since then, the Panthers have a different look as they traded away David Booth and Steve Reinprecht to the Vancouver Canucks for Mikael Samuelsson and Marco Sturm. When asked before the game in how the Panthers had changed after the trade, coach Lindy Ruff gave this assessment:
It would be hard for me to really peg how they are different because you went with Booth who had great speed north and south to a great playmaking type player in Samuelsson, a good goal scorer though. So, I just would say they maybe have a touch less speed but a better overall player.
The Sabres are coming off their 4-2 victory over the Blue Jackets and Ryan Miller will be starting in net for the Sabres. Miller didn't look fantastic against the Lightning on Tuesday night and had the night off against the Blue Jackets, so I would expect him to come out looking rested and back on top of his game. He was the one that shutout the Panthers in their first meeting of the season.
The rest of the Sabres lineup should stay the same as only 13 players were on the ice for this morning's optional skate. That included eight forwards, four defensemen, and both goaltenders. Jochen Hecht was skating again after missing practice on Friday, but is still not close to returning to the lineup as of yet.
The Panthers should be starting Jacob Markstrom, the heralded Swedish rookie. On the season this year, Markstrom has a 2-2 record with a .945 save percentage and 2.11 goals against average. Markstrom is one of the biggest goaltenders in the league, measuring at 6' 6" and can cover a lot of space in the net. "He takes up a lot of net and on second opportunities and a lot of scramble plays where we don't think he should make plays, he is big enough to be there," said Ruff about the goaltender.
Game time is 7:00 pm and can be seen on MSG.