Buffalo Sabres fans have only had one chance to see professional hockey in the First Niagara Center this season, and it was when the Rochester Americans came to town back in October.
Tonight the Amerks are back in town to show Sabres fans that, in fact, some lucky players do in fact get paid to play hockey for a living. The Sabres farm team will once again take on the Lake Erie Monsters after besting Colorado's farm team 7-6 in a wild overtime game on Wednesday.
TJ Brennan was the hero on in that game, with a massive five point game (2+3) that vaulted him back into the team lead for both points and goals. Brennan now has 28 points in 28 games, and should be your #1 player to watch if you'll be in the FNC tonight; he should pose a serious challenge for a top-6 spot if the NHL ever gets its act together. Marcus Foligno continued his strong season with the overtime winner, while Cody Hodgson was strong at the pivot and scored twice to go along with the assist on Foligno's goal.
The Amerks have taken after their parent club by having a disappointing November and December that has seen them fall to tenth in the Western Conference. A win tonight would put them into a tie for ninth with Lake Erie, and with they way Wednesday's game ended, expect some bad blood between these two division rivals especially with the jump the Amerks will have from their 17,000 fans, which will be a new attendance record for Rochester.
What To Watch For: Of course, there's a group of TJ Brennan, Brayden McNabb, Marcus Foligno, and Cody Hodgson, who will likely all make the Sabres roster, but keep an eye on Zemgus Girgensons and Mark Pysyk, two recent high draft picks whose development will help determine the future of the Sabres.
Viewing Info: Puck Drop - 7:05pm. TV: Time Warner Cable Sports Channel Radio: Sports 1280 WHTK