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[Open Thread] Buffalo Sabres vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

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7:00PM TV:MSG Radio:WGR55

I have a busy day today so I'm getting this thread up early.  Feel free to comment throughout the day on your thoughts about tonights game.  Buffalo received no help last night with every team they wanted to lose was victorious.  Buffalo is now in 10th place but a victory tonight would help them stay close.  The Rangers are in New Jersey tonight and the Capitals are in Chicago.  The Capitals moved in to ninth place last night with a victory over Nashville.

Sabres notes:  Buffalo is undefeated against the Lightning this season, winning three games and two in overtime...Thomas Vanek has scored both overtime winners against the Lightning this season...Jason Pominville has five points against Tampa Bay this season to lead all Sabres players...Jason Pominville and Derek Roy are amongst the league leaders in points since the all star break behind only Evgeni Malkin and Alexander Ovechkin...Pominville has 13 goals and 19 assists for 32 points and Roy has 11 goals and 18 assists for 29 points in that time frame...Daniel Paille has four goals in his last three games...Ryan Miller will make his 27th consecutive start tonight...Teppo Numminen skated yesterday and declared himself ready to play fueling speculation that with all the injuries he may be in the lineup...I anticipate that Tim Connolly will be out again with general soreness, although I think that is a mistake because of his power play experience.

Lightning notes:  Tampa Bay has played better since the trade that sent Brad Richards to Dallas in return for Mike Smith, Jeff Halpern and Jussi Jokkinen...Smith has won two consecutive starts including a 3-0 shutout against the Rangers...Tampa Bay has won three straight powered by their special teams, they are 4-for-9 on the power play and have killed 9-of-10 in those three games...Jeff Halpern and Michel Ouellet have been hot since the trade, Halpern 5 goals and six assists and Ouellet has seven goals and 11 assists.  

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Buffalo Leaders

Goals:Derek Roy 29
Assists:Jason Pominville 46
Points:Jason Pominville 70
Plus/minus:Jason Pominville +17
PIM:Andrew Peters 100

Lightning Leaders

Goals:Vincent Lecavalier 37
Assists:Martin St. Louis 54
Points:Vincent Lecavalier 85
Plus/minus:Michel Ouellet +11
PIM:Shane O'Brien 152

Projected Sabres lines

Vanek-Roy-Stafford
Kotalik-Hecht-Pominville
Paille-Gaustad-Afinogenov
Kaleta-Mair-Bernier

Tallinder-Lydman
Sekera-Pratt
Weber-Funk