Preview: Sabres return home after Sweden trip
Buffalo returns to the KeyBank Center for the first time in 12 days.
Buffalo Sabres (9-6-2) vs. Carolina Hurricanes (10-7-1)
Puck Drop: 7:00 PM EST | KeyBank Center | Buffalo, NY
Radio: WGR 550
SB Nation Hurricanes Blog: Canes Country
Know Your Opponent
Record: (10-7-1) | 21 PTS
Last 10: 4-5-1
Division Ranking: 5th in Metropolitan Division
Conference Ranking: 9th in Eastern Conference
PP: 11th (22.4%)
PK: 14th (91.8%)
What to Watch
1. The Wrong Kind of Streak
The Buffalo Sabres return to the KeyBank Center ice after five days off, following their back-to-back appearances in Sweden.
Buffalo currently finds themselves on the wrong kind of streak - a prolonged losing streak.
In the month of November, the Sabres are 0-4-0 with an average of 1.5 goals scored per game. Not a very good attempt at promoting a winning hockey product.
2. Odd Man Out
Buffalo finds themselves getting healthy on the blueline, which understandably creates a scenario where someone might just find themselves on the outside looking in.
On Thursday night, all signs point to that player being Colin Miller.
Marco Scandella participated in practice on Wednesday morning and appears ready to return to the lineup for the first time since October 24.
With Zach Bogosian returning to practice as well, something might need to give sooner than later.
3. Testing Depth
As reported on Wednesday, forward Vladimir Sobotka will miss four-to-six weeks with a lower-body injury.
Safe to presume that Sobotka is nursing some sort of knee injury, judging by how he last left the ice in Sweden.
Sobotka’s absence provides a test for the Buffalo Sabres depth, which starts with giving Curtis Lazar a shot in Sobotka’s absence.
Will Lazar stick around or will Jason Botterill need to go to the next man in line? Only time will tell.
Victor Olofsson - Jack Eichel - Sam Reinhart
Jeff Skinner - Evan Rodrigues - Conor Sheary
Jimmy Vesey - Casey Mittelstadt - Curtis Lazar
Zemgus Girgensons - Johan Larsson - Kyle Okposo
Rasmus Dahlin - Brandon Montour
Jake McCabe - Rasmus Ristolainen
Marco Scandella - Henri Jokiharju
Starting Goaltender: Carter Hutton
Ryan Dzingel - Jordan Staal - Warren Foegele
Andrei Svechnikov - Sebastian Aho - Teuvo Teravainen
Nino Niederreiter - Lucas Wallmark - Martin Necas
Brock McGinn - Eetu Luostarinen - Brian Gibbons
Jaccob Slavin - Dougie Hamilton
Joel Edmundson - Brett Pesce
Jake Gardiner - Haydn Fleury
Starting Goaltender: Petr Mrazek