Preview: Sabres look for their third straight home victory when they host the Panthers

The Sabres welcome the Panthers into Buffalo for the first time this season

Game 5

Buffalo Sabres (3-0-1) vs. Florida Panthers (1-2-0)

Puck Drop: 7:00 PM EST | KeyBank Center | Buffalo, NY


Radio: WGR 550

SB Nation Panthers blog: Litter Box Cats

Know Your Opponent

Florida Panthers

Record: (1-2-1) | 2 points

Last 10: 1-2-0

Division Ranking: 7th in Atlantic Division

Conference Ranking: 12th in Eastern Conference

PP: 9th (30.8%)

PK: 19th (71.4%)

What to Watch

1. $10 million man

The big offseason move for the Florida Panthers was the addition of goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky to seven-year, $70 million contract. So far, things have not gone well. In three starts, the 31-year-old goaltender has a .859 save percentage. According to Evolving Hockey, he has the lowest goals saved above expected rating in the league (-5.19).

2. Can’t stop, won’t stop

The line of Johan Larsson, Zemgus Girgensons, and Kyle Okposo has been the Sabres best trio this season. They’ve been a dominant line in each game this season. They continue to get the majority of the defensive zone starts on the team, but have controlled possession throughout the first four games.

3. Paging, Casey Mittelstadt

Outside of the first game of the season, Mittelstadt has done much for the Sabres. That line in general has been the weakest throughout the season. Not only has Mittelstadt had some struggles, but Jimmy Vesey has been less than impressive as well. That line could use a strong game tonight.

Game Prediction

Projected Lineup

Buffalo Sabres


Victor Olofsson - Jack Eichel - Sam Reinhart

Jeff Skinner - Marcus Johansson - Vladimir Sobotka

Zemgus Girgensons - Johan Larsson - Kyle Okposo

Jimmy Vesey - Casey Mittelstadt - Evan Rodrigues


Rasmus Dahlin - Colin Miller

Jake McCabe - Rasmus Ristolainen

Marco Scandella - Henri Jokiharju

Starting Goaltender: Linus Ullmark

Florida Panthers


Jonathan Huberdeau - Aleksander Barkov - Mike Hoffman

Frank Vatrano - Vincent Trocheck - Brett Connolly

Jayce Hawryluk - Denis Malgin - Evgenii Dadonov

Dryden Hunt - Noel Acciari - Colton Sceviour


Mackenzie Weegar - Aaron Ekblad

Michael Matheson - Anton Stralman

Keith Yandle - Josh Brown

Starting Goaltender: Sergei Bobrovsky