UPDATE: Friday’s game has officially been rescheduled for Saturday, March 4 at 12:30 p.m.
In a corresponding move, the Sabres game that was scheduled for March 4 against the Philadelphia Flyers has been moved to Monday, January 9 at 7 p.m.
According to Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli, Friday’s scheduled game between the Buffalo Sabres and Tampa Bay Lightning is ‘likely’ to be postponed due to the inclement weather expected to hit Western New York in the coming days.
Hearing #Sabres / #GoBolts game on Friday night is likely to be postponed with impending winter storm.— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) December 21, 2022
May not be the only game on the slate postponed - aside from safety issue for fans, #NHL doesn't want to teams being stranded for holidays.
The Sabres are currently scheduled to host the Lightning in their final game before the league’s brief holiday break. However, due to what weather experts are calling a “generational event” expected to hit the area between Thursday night and Sunday, it would certainly make sense to reschedule.
Rescheduling the game to Thursday is not a viable option, for two reasons. The Lightning played Tuesday night in Toronto and Wednesday night in Detroit, and cannot play three games in three days. In addition, KeyBank Center is already booked for a pair of Trans-Siberian Orchestra concerts on Thursday.
As Seravalli said, certainly a part of the decision comes down to the fact that the league’s holiday break begins on Saturday. While the Lightning would have no trouble getting to Buffalo on Wednesday night after their game in Detroit, flying out after the game on Friday/Saturday could be impossible. I can’t imagine the NHL and PA wanting to risk the Lightning players getting stuck in Buffalo over their mandated three-day break. It’s also an easy enough game to reschedule - it’s not like we’re talking about a trip out west here.
We’ll have more updates once any sort of confirmation comes from the Sabres or NHL.