While the first two games of the Sabres season played in Europe actually counted toward the NHL standings, those games didn't feel like the start of the NHL season. Now that the team is back in the States, it feels like the start of the season is actually here. The Sabres open up the First Niagara Center against the Carolina Hurricanes to a huge amount of fanfare. The First Niagara Center will be electric tonight as Sabres fans will get their first chance to see their newly rebuilt team on the ice.
There should be no major changes to the Sabres lineup from the last game against the Los Angeles Kings. After having six days off from their last game on Saturday night, the Sabres are ready to get back on the ice though. This from John Vogl of the Buffalo News:
"Too much time here in between games," [Cody] McCormick said. "You've heard the buildup through the summer, and guys are all excited. There's a lot of energy here, and we're looking forward to getting at it."
The Sabres will have to get used to a regular schedule as they have back to back games this weekend, with Saturday's being on the road against the Penguins, and then three more on the road next week.
The Carolina Hurricanes just won their first game of the season on Wednesday night against the Boston Bruins, their fourth game of the season. The Hurricanes will have Cam Ward in the net, who is 1-2 on the season with a 3.35 goals against average. Sabres fans still despise the Hurricanes after the 2006 playoffs, but Cam Ward during the regular season has been fairly average against Buffalo.
Game time is 7:30 pm, our gamethread starts at 7:00 pm.