The Buffalo Sabres are coming off their best victory of the season, a 6-0 victory against the Boston Bruins, and next on the docket are the Dallas Stars.
Nothing should change for the Sabres from Wednesday night and that includes the coaches behind the bench as well. Head coach Lindy Ruff was in good spirits when he talked to the media after the game on Wednesday. During that conference, he had mentioned that he isn't able to coach behind the bench due to his inability to yell the lines out. That means that James Patrick will continue to serve the role as in game head coach.
As for the roster, the only possible change comes with winger Thomas Vanek. Vanek has missed the last three games with an upper body injury and worked out with the team on Thursday in practice. Vanek is looking to get himself back in the lineup but it may not be in his normal spot on the first line, which he joked about with the Buffalo News:
"Geez, life goes on," he said slowly with a smile. "The line's been playing well. The three games I missed the team played great. For me, it's just to try and find a spot in the lineup then work myself up again."
The Stars are coming into this game having defeating the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-2 on Thursday. Jamie Benn scored twice for Dallas and Kari Lehtonen made 26 saves in the winning effort. Due to the back-to-back situation, we expect the Stars to start Richard Bachman in net. Bachman is 6-3-1 this season with a 2.72 goals against average and. 912 save percentage. Bachman is 0-2-1 in his last three decisions though with his last victory coming on January 7th against the Edmonton Oilers. The only major injury for the Stars has been Brenden Morrow who has been out for the last week with an upper body injury.
The stars may be aligning for the Sabres tonight as well. The Stars are 0-8-1 this season in the second night of a back to back situation and they haven't won a regular season game in Buffalo since October 7, 1997. Game time is 7:30 pm.