Preview: Sabres look for first win in home opener against Ottawa
The Sabres home opener sees Ottawa come to town, but in game two, Buffalo is still looking for its first win.
After opening the season with a 2-1 loss to Detroit on Wednesday, the Buffalo Sabres open their home schedule tonight with a game against old-school division rival Ottawa. They gave a solid effort, but were overwhelmed by the much more experienced and talented Detroit team. Tonight, they'll have to go without Ville Leino, whose rib injury will open the door for Johan Larsson to make his Buffalo Sabres debut.
Ottawa Senators (0-0-0) vs. Buffalo Sabres (0-1-0)
Puck Drop - 7:00pm EST - First Niagara Center - Buffalo, NY
TV - MSG | Radio - WGR 550-AM
SBNation Senators Blog - Silver Seven (Please play nice if you're going to visit.)
Three Things To Watch For
1. How will the Sabres respond to their season opening loss?
The Sabres were outclassed by Detroit in their season opener, and with such a young and inexperienced team, they'll need to show the ability tonight to come back from a tough loss and put out another solid effort against a much more beatable Ottawa team.
2. Will the power play show more signs of life?
Buffalo put up a big donut on the power play on Wednesday, going 0-for-7 and never really looking threatening, even with two 5-on-3 chances. They'll need a much better showing tonight and all season in order to make noise in the East.
3. How will the home fans respond?
Last season, one of the big story lines was the growing rift between the Sabres organization and their fans. This tension showed itself in a much more subdued, and sometimes toxic, atmosphere at the First Niagara Center. Fans should be pleased with the team's effort on Wednesday, even if the result wasn't what we all wanted, but will that lead to more of a home-ice advantage? Tonight will be a good litmus test.
Projected BUF Lines
Vanek - Hodgson - Stafford
Ott - Larsson - Ennis
Girgensons - Grigorenko - Flynn
Porter - McCormick - Kaleta
Ehrhoff - Pysyk
Tallinder - Myers
Weber - Ristolainen
Goal: Ryan Miller
Scratches/Injuries: Foligno, Scott, Leino, McBain
Projected OTT Lines
Milan Michalek - Jason Spezza - Bobby Ryan
Clarke MacArthur - Kyle Turris - Cory Conacher
Colin Greening - Jean-Gabriel Pageau - Erik Condra
Zack Smith - Stephane Da Costa - Chris Nei
Marc Methot - Erik Karlsson
Jared Cowen - Patrick Wiercioch
Chris Phillips - Joe Corvo
Goal: Craig Anderson
Note: All projected lines use the most recent available practice or game information
It's the home opener - get loud, Buffalonians.