Preview: Winless Sabres Head To Pittsburgh
A road trip to Pittsburgh is not exactly what the doctor ordered for the ailing Buffalo Sabres, but hey, stranger things have happened.
We knew they weren't going to be a very good team this year, but after two games, the Buffalo Sabres have just one goal and zero wins.In their last game, they suffred two injuries as well, seeing Henrik Tallinder and Ryan Miller sidelined for a few days each. In their place, Alex Sulzer and Matt Hackett have been recalled from Rochester for emergency purposes, while Jamie McBain will make his Sabres debut in place of Tallinder.
Buffalo Sabres (0-2-0) at Pittsburgh Penguins (1-0-0)
Puck Drop - 7:00pm EST - CONSOL Energy Center - Pittsburgh, PA
TV - MSG | Radio - WGR 550-AM
SBNation Penguins Blog - PensBurgh (Please play nice if you're going to visit.)
Three Things To Watch For
1. Can the Sabres score more than one goal? Is that even possible?
After two games and 55 shots, the Sabres have but a single goal to their name. I know we said the offense this year would be hard to come by, but this is not exactly what we had in mind.
Buffalo's top line of Thomas Vanek, Cody Hodgson, and the corpse of Drew Stafford has yet to produce any points for the blue and gold, and if the team has to rely on the rookie combo of Zemgus Girgensons and Mikhail Grigorenko for goals all year, well, then we'll take back what we said about those losses being enjoyable to watch.
2. Who will get injured tonight?
Counting the preseason, the Sabres have played nine games, and they have seven injured players on the roster - Marcus Foligno, Cory Tropp, Joel Armia, Nikita Zadorov, Ville Leino, Henrik Tallinder, and Ryan Miller.
A young, inexperienced team can't afford to suffer a major slew of injuries, especially to one of their best players, but luckily Ryan Miller's injury is minor, and he should be good to go in a few days. Leino, Tropp, Armia, and Zadorov weren't so lucky, however, and those missed games represent valuable learning and gelling time that Buffalo isn't getting out of them.
3. Will the Sabres pick up their first win of the season tonight in Pittsburgh?
It will certainly be tough, as the Penguins should once again this year be a top team in the East. If the Sabres can outhustle the Pens, play very solid defense, and get a lucky bounce or two, it could happen. Doubtful doesn't mean impossible.
Projected BUF Lines
Vanek - Hodgson - Stafford
Ott - Larsson - Ennis
Girgensons - Grigorenko - Flynn
Porter - McCormick - Kaleta
Ehrhoff - Pysyk
McBain - Myers
Weber - Ristolainen
Goal: Jhonas Enroth
Scratches/Injuries: Foligno, Scott, Leino, Tallinder, Sulzer
Projected PIT Lines
Kunitz - Crosby - Dupuis
Jokinen - Malkin - Bennett
Jeffrey - Sutter - Kobasew
Glass - Vitale - Adams
Orpik - Martin
Scuderi - Niskanen
Maatta/Engeland - Bortuzzo