Sabres at Avalanche preview: Opposite ends of the rebuild, Moulson injured

It's the second (and last) meeting of the season between two teams in very different places, and the Sabres will be without their leading scorer.

There's only four more games until the Olympic break, but the Buffalo Sabres will have to play out the string without their leading scorer. Matt Moulson was injured on Thursday against the Coyotes, and will be out until after the break, which ends February 25. Brian Flynn will step into a top six role as Ted Nolan will once again shuffle the top lines for tonight's game against the red-hot Colorado Avalanche.

The Avalanche come in to the afternoon game today with a 7-2-1 record in their last ten games, while the Sabres will be looking to win back-to-back games for just the third time all year. They're currently sitting as the fifth seed in the Western Conference, with a playoff berth all but locked in. As we said the last time these two teams met, Colorado represents where the Sabres want to be a few years from now. Led by high draft picks Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog, among other strong youngsters like Matt Duchene and Ryan O'Reilly, the Avs are a serious contender in the West, and have a ten point cushion on their playoff race. This is what the 2016-17 season hopefully looks like in Buffalo.

Speaking of the Sabres, they will still be without Drew Stafford, but might get Christian Ehrhoff back in the lineup; Ted Nolan said yesterday that Ehrhoff would be a game time decision. Ryan Miller will get the start once again in net, as he puts the finishing touches on his Team USA Olympic resume.

Game #54

Buffalo Sabres (15-30-8) at Colorado Avalanche (34-14-5)

Puck Drop - 3:00pm EST - Pepsi Center - Denver, CO
- MSG Bell-TV, ALT | Radio - WGR 550-AM
SBNation Avalanche Blog
- Mile High Hockey

Three Questions

1. Who will step up in Moulson's absence?
With Matty Mo out of the lineup, no other player no the Sabres have more than 30 points this season.
They'll need someone to take the puck and run with it, but who?

2. Who gets the first goal tonight?
Colorado has the third highest winning percentage in the NHL when scoring first, so it'll be up to Buffalo to have a strong first period.

3. What will birthday boy Tyler Myers do tonight?
The now-24-year-old has been playing better of late, so let's put the spotlight on him for today's game.

Projected BUF Lines

Flynn - Ennis - Girgensons
Ott - Hodgson - Leino
Foligno - Varone - D'Agostini
Scott - Konopka - Ellis

Ehrhoff Sulzer
Myers - Tallinder
Weber - Ruhwedel

Goal: Ryan Miller

Scratches/Injuries: McBain, Stafford, McCormick, Moulson, Omark