Sabres at Senators preview: Grigorenko promoted, Chad Johnson debuts
Mikhail Grigorenko finally gets to play with real NHL players as the Sabres battle injuries and the Senators tonight.
Buffalo Sabres (19-40-5) at
Ottawa Senators (38-20-6)
1. How will Mikhail Grigorenko fare on the second line instead of the fourth?
It looks like Grigorenko might finally get his chance at an extended audition for the Buffalo Sabres with real, honest-to-god NHL players rather than the fourth line scrubs he's often stuck with. With Grigs still working his way back to form from a knee injury suffered in Rochester, how will look tonight with Brian Gionta and Marcus Foligno?
2. Will Chad Johnson look any better than Anders Lindback did in his Sabres debut?
Another night, and another new goalie is in net for Buffalo - this time it's Chad Johnson, making his Sabres debut after being traded from the Islanders to Buffalo for Michal Neuvirth. We all know the Sabres need A+ goaltending most nights to have a chance, so let's see what Johnson can do against a middle of the road Ottawa offense.
3. How many SATs can the Sabres generate tonight?
The Senators are the fifth worst team in the NHL as far as shots against go, giving up 32.5 per game. However, they've got a red hot goalie in Andrew Hammond who's helped them win six of their last seven games. Getting pucks to the net will be a key to winning tonight, and the Sabres will need to take advantage of Ottawa's poor possession stats to break the Sens' winning streak.
Projected BUF lines
Moulson - Varone - Ennis
Foligno - Grigorenko - Gionta
Deslauriers - Larsson - Hodgson
D'Amigo - Schaller - Ellis
Benoit - Bogosian
Weber - Ristolainen
Zadorov - Meszaros
Goal: Chad Johnson