Sabres vs. Panthers preview: Neuvirth back between the pipes
The Sabres play their first game of 2015 tonight. Will this year bring them more fortune than 2014 did?
Buffalo Sabres (14-21-3) vs.
Florida Panthers (16-10-9)
Puck Drop: 7:00 pm EST | First Niagara Center | Buffalo, NY TV: MSG, Bell TV, Fox Sports-F | Radio: WGR 550
1. How will the mixed up lines look?
Ted Nolan switched things up a little with his line combinations in the morning skate, putting together a lineup that puts the young players in a more important role. Mikhail Grigorenko has moved up to the second-line center position, with Johan Larsson as the third-line center. Both have been put with wingers that have some offensive talent as well. Will either player be able to show more of a flash in more opportunistic minutes?
2. Will Michal Neuvirth be able to reverse his poor luck?
Jhonas Enroth has been getting shellacked in net the past few games, meaning its time to turn to Neuvirth tonight. Neuvirth played in three games in December, losing all of them while giving up six, five, and three goals in each. Can he get his first win since November 15th tonight?
3. Will Rasmus Ristolainen look entirely healed from his illness?
Some hip youths would describe Ristolainen's play this year as "sick," but unfortunately his health lately could be described that way as well. He's back after missing two games, and Nolan said this morning that he'll be pairing him with Nikita Zadorov once again.
Projected BUF lineup
Moulson - Girgensons - Ennis
Flynn - Grigorenko - Stewart
Hodgson - Larsson - Stafford
Deslauriers - McCormick - Kaleta
Gorges - Strachan
Ristolainen - Zadorov
Benoit - Weber
Goal: Michal Neuvirth