The Sabres have the interesting situation of possibly relying on AHL goalie Jhonas Enroth in what would be his NHL debut against the Hurricanes. While Enroth was probably going to start a game, personally I was hoping for his debut to come against the Islanders on Saturday instead this game.
As far as the importance of this game, Sports Club Stats right now has us at a 69.5% chance of making hte playoffs. Those chances decrease by 9.4% if we lose and increase 8.4% if we win. The Sabres desperately need to find a way to get two points out of this game especially after laying an egg against the Hurricanes in Buffalo. The perk of this game is that the Sabres play a little better on the road, they are expected to win 54% of the time as compared to 49% of the time at home.
As for the Hurricanes, they are coming off a 4-2 loss against the Senators on Tuesday night. They are going to be flying high at home trying to get those points as well. The Sabres have not fared as well on the road against the Hurricanes, dropped both last year. Cam Ward will start in net for the Hurricanes tonight. The Sabres have had their way with Ward in his career, 3-4-1, 3.14 GAA and .889 SV%, but he was in net for the shutout in the last game.
The Sabres need to focus and play a quality game and they will be able to work their way to two points tonight. Winning tonight can gain a little confidence and be able to start on a roll heading into the final 20 games of the season.
EDIT as of 1:21 pm. John Vogl is reporting that Lalime is feeling well enough to start tonight's game.