With the first preseason game of the year, the nine month journey of hockey officially starts for the Sabres. The First Niagara Center gets its first game of the year as the Carolina Hurricanes come into town and the Sabres celebrate with Slug Appreciation Day. As a reminder for those who don't remember, if you wear a piece of slug memorabilia into the Sabres Store today, you can get a matching piece of memorabilia, hat for hat, shirt for shirt, jersey for jersey, at a 41% discount.
The preseason games will give us a glimpse of this team's prospects and how the new lines might shake out for the start of the season. While the starting roster isn't known at the time of writing, according to Lindy Ruff on the official team website, we should expect a good mixture of prospects and veterans to evaluate who should play together with a bunch of new players that have come into the lineup this offseason. With this being the first games of a five game in seven day stretch for the Sabres, we expect a bunch of players to rotate throughout the lineup to keep everyone fresh and to mitigate injuries.
A few things to keep an eye on is the defensive battle that the Sabres will have this season. There are eight defensemen that are fighting for six starting spots this season. John Vogl of the Buffalo News highlighted the defensive battle in his preview column this morning and mentions that Tyler Myers, Andrej Sekera, Mike Weber, and Marc-Andre Gragnani are expected to play tonight.
For the Carolina Hurricanes, the folks over at Canes Country are expecting Brian Boucher to start the game for Carolina and expect to see their newly signed defenseman Ryan Murphy to get some action in the first preseason game. Murphy was the team's first round selection in this year's draft and has looked impressive in the first couple of days of training camp.
Game time is at 7:00 pm and can be seen on Sabres.com and MSG.com as the Sabres are going to stream this game.