Puck Drop: 1:00 PM EST | KeyBank Center | Buffalo, NY
Radio: WGR 550
SB Nation Panthers Blog: Litter Box Cats
Know Your Opponent
Record: 47-15-6 | 100 PTS
Last 10: 7-2-1
Last Game: 7-6 OT win vs. Devils
Division Ranking: 1st in Atlantic Division
PP: 10th (23.1%)
PK: 15th (80.1%)
What to Watch
1. RJ’s Last April
Friday’s celebration was magical and everything that legendary play-by-play announcer Rick Jeanneret deserved. His voice has graced our radios and televisions for over half of a century and this month marks his final one with the team. As the puck drops between the Panthers and the Sabres after Friday’s emotional ceremony (were there honestly any dry eyes out there?), it will be fun to hear him back on the mic for these last few weeks of the season and, ultimately, his career. Cheers, RJ!
2. Expect a High-Scoring Game
The last time these two teams met was just a few weeks ago and it did not work out too well for the Sabres, who lost 6-1 after the Panthers scored six straight. Prior to last game, the Sabres lost 7-4 back in December when Florida scored four in the third period. In that game, former Sabre Sam Reinhart tallied a goal and three assists and Buffalo suffered a major second-period slump with only six shots to Florida’s 21. To be clear, Buffalo’s mission should be to play a full 60 minutes every game, but especially this one as the last two matchups between these two teams were high-scoring games with a relentless Florida team as the opponent.
In more recent news, the Panthers rallied from behind yesterday against the Devils by scoring four goals in the third period. Sound familiar? If anything, it seems history repeats itself with this team and the Sabres should be anticipating that.
Buffalo is arguably a very different team than just a few months ago (9-3-3 in their last 15 and eight straight games with at least a point!), but nevertheless: shoot that puck and do not let any kind of lead give false hope until the final buzzer echoes the arena.
3. Tommer Time
During Friday’s matchup against Nashville - easily the best game fans have witnessed in many years (thank you, RJ!) - Tage Thompson scored his 30th goal of the season and continues to show no signs of slowing down. The center has 11 points in the Sabres’ last 10 games and seems to have finally found his stride. On the goal accomplishment, he stated “I think it’s a special feeling, but at the same time there is more work to be done. You never want to be satisfied...”
Tommer could easily surpass Jack Eichel’s career high of 36 goals (from the 2019-2020 season) by this season’s end and we know Buffalo would surely love nothing more.
Jeff Skinner - Tage Thompson - Alex Tuch
Peyton Krebs - Dylan Cozens - Vinnie Hinostroza
Rasmus Asplund - Casey Mittelstadt - Victor Olofsson
Zemgus Girgensons - Cody Eakin - Kyle Okposo
Rasmus Dahlin - Henri Jokiharju
Mattias Samuelsson - Casey Fitzgerald
Jacob Bryson - Mark Pysyk
Starting Goaltender: Dustin Tokarski (expected)
Carter Verhaeghe - Aleksander Barkov - Anthony Duclair
Jonathan Huberdeau - Sam Bennett - Claude Giroux
Mason Marchment - Anton Lundell - Sam Reinhart
Ryan Lomberg - Eetu Luostarinen - Maxim Mamin
Gustav Forsling - Mackenzie Weegar
Ben Chiarot - Radko Gudas
Robert Hagg - Brandon Montour
Starting Goaltender: Spencer Knight (expected)