Sabres travel to Pittsburgh for a two-game finale against the Penguins
Buffalo is 1-5-0 against their East Division foe this season
Buffalo Sabres (15-32-7) vs. Pittsburgh Penguins (35-16-3)
Puck Drop: 7:00 PM EST | PPG Paints Arena | Pittsburgh, PA
Radio: WGR 550
SB Nation Penguins Blog: Pensburgh
Know Your Opponent
Division Ranking: 2nd in East Division
PP: 7th (23.5%)
PK: 25th (77.5%)
What to Watch
1. Keep The Good Times Rolling
Well, sort of. Though in the grand scheme of things the 2020-21 season has been disappointing for the Buffalo Sabres, there are reasons for joy as of late. Michael Houser has posted unlikely back-to-back wins in his first two NHL starts. Young players like Dylan Cozens, Casey Mittelstadt, and Rasmus Asplund continue to contribute offensively.
In general, the Sabres are just fun to watch. There’s nothing to play for, but you wouldn’t know it. Whether it be the minor-league journeyman netminder looking to make the most of his NHL opportunity, or a smattering of young players looking to set the tone for next year, the Sabres haven’t checked out by any means.
2. Houser in the House
For the third consecutive game, Houser will get the nod for the blue-and-gold. At 28 years old, to call his NHL aspirations “unlikely” would have been an understatement. The fact that he’s managed two straight victories after not playing competitive hockey in over a calendar year is even more astounding. In his two-game debut he’s posted a .940 save-percentage.
While nothing he does over these last few games will cement him another NHL look, he may just turn some heads for AHL teams looking to add a veteran presence for next season. If nothing else, he is an incredible story in a year where the good has outweighed the bad.
He’s an underdog’s underdog. You just can’t help but root for him. Hopefully he keeps the magic rolling tonight.
3. Just Let Loose
Look, the Penguins (like several other teams) have had the Sabres number all year. Buffalo has managed just one win against them in six contests to date. Since Krueger’s ousting, these two clubs have played a couple of very tight contests.
With just two games left on the schedule, it would be nice to see Buffalo double-down on their high-event approach and give the fans some entertaining hockey against a very talented opponent.
Anders Bjork - Sam Reinhart - Victor Olofsson
Jeff Skinner - Dylan Cozens - Arttu Ruotsalainen
Rasmus Asplund - Casey Mittelstadt - Tage Thompson
Brett Murray - Riley Sheahan - Drake Caggiula
Mattias Samuelsson - Rasmus Ristolainen
Rasmus Dahlin - Henri Jokiharju
Jacob Bryson - Colin Miller
Starting Goaltender: Michael Houser
Jake Guentzel - Sidney Crosby - Bryan Rust
Jason Zucker - Evgeni Malkin - Kasperi Kapanen
Jared McCann - Jeff Carter - Frederick Gaudreau
Zach Aston-Reese - Teddy Blueger - Colton Sceviour
Brian Dumoulin - Kris Letang
Mark Friedman - Cody Ceci
Marcus Pettersson - John Marino
Starting Goaltender: Tristan Jarry