Sabres at Blackhawks Preview: Buffalo tries to bounce back in Chicago
After a loss in their season opener, the Sabres travel to Chicago to take on the powerhouse Blackhawks.
Buffalo Sabres (0-1-0) at
Chicago Blackhawks (1-0-0)
TV - MSG, Bell-TV, CSN-CH | Radio - WGR 550 - AM
SB Nation Blackhawks Blog - Second City Hockey
1. How will the center swap work out?
The Sabres swapped second and third line centers, as Zemgus Girgensons will play between Hodgson and Gionta, while Sam Reinhart moves down to work with Foligno and Stewart. In the opener, Girgensons' line was the best on the ice, wreaking havok (as much as the Sabres can wreak havok) and creating scoring chances. Reinhart's line, on the other hand, was very quiet all night. The Sabres hope that swapping pivot men will help jump-start both lines.
2. Can Jhonas Enroth survive his first big test against Chicago?
Columbus has a decent offense, but the were missing a few of their big guns on Thursday. Chicago, on the other hand, scored the second-most goals last season and features two top lines with unbelievable talent. With the black hole of Mezaros and Benoit on defense, Enroth will need to have a very strong game in order to keep the Sabres in it to the end.
3. How will the Sabres bounce back from their first loss?
During the preseason, all we heard about was how things were different this year in Buffalo. Guys were more chatty on the ice, the atmosphere was positive, and most players came into camp in great shape.
Then, the first game happened, and the Sabres looked exactly like they did last year.
Tonight they'll face a much tougher test than they had against Columbus, as Chicago is a perennial top-five team in the NHL, with an offense that doesn't quit. Will the Sabres dig deep and rise to the level of their opposition, or did their effort on Thursday do too much to diminish their renewed spirits?
Projected BUF lines
Moulson - Ennis - Stafford
Hodgson - Girgensons - Gionta
Foligno - Reinhart - Stewart
Deslauriers - Flynn - Mitchell
Gorges - Myers
Weber - Ristolainen
Benoit - Meszaros
Goal: Jhonas Enroth
Scratches/Injuries: McCormick, Kaleta, Pysyk, McCabe, Zadorov, Strachan
Projected CHI lines
Sharp - Toews - Hossa
Saad - Shaw - Kane
Bickell - Richards - Smith
Carcillo - Krueger - Morin
Keith - Seabrook
Hjalmarsson - Van Riemsdyk
Runblad - Oduya
Goal: Corey Crawford