Sabres vs. Penguins Preview: Hockey Day In America
The Sabres face the fourth place Penguins in front of a national audience with a chance to build on an impressive win over the Bruins on Friday.
The Buffalo Sabres are coming off of a third period comeback against the Boston Bruins that saw both Tyler Myers and Drew Stafford play their best games of the season. Steve Ott laid down the most hits for a Sabres player since the Winter Classic, and Ryan Miller got some help from all three posts to put together another very strong effort. Next up is Pittsburgh, in front of a national audience as the leading game of NBC's Hockey Day In America.
Buffalo Sabres (6-8-1) vs. Pittsburgh Penguins (10-5-0)
Puck Drop - 12:30pm - First Niagara Center - Buffalo, NY
TV - NBC, TSN2 | Radio - WGR 550-AM
Penguins Blog - Pensburgh (Please play nice if you're going to visit.)
The Sabres were feeling good at practice today, but there was two changes. Andrej Sekera was out thanks to his charlie horse, and rookie Mikhail Grigorenko was skating with the fourth liners while Jochen Hecht was up with Steve Ott and Nathan Gerbe. Said Lindy Ruff:
"Last night was a real speed duel, and I just thought that Grigo got off to a tough start," Ruff said. "I thought Jochen skated well, had two or three opportunities. We needed to match their speed. It wasn’t going well for him, and that’s all part of the process.
"That’s all part of what we’re trying to do with him here, get him the extra work, get him stronger, have him work with our skating coach, try to go through the details that are going to make him a more powerful skater and a more efficient skater. He’s only 18. He’s pretty good for 18, and I think if you do things right he should be a heck of a player in a couple years."
Projected Buffalo Lines
Vanek - Hodgson - Pominville
Foligno - Ennis - Stafford
Ott - Hecht - Gerbe
Scott - Grigorenko - Kaleta
Ehrhoff - Sulzer
Regehr - Myers
Weber - Leopold
Goal: Ryan Miller
Scratches/Injuries: Sekera, Brennan, McCormick, Leino
Projected Penguins Lines
Chris Kunitz - Sidney Crosby - Pascal Dupuis
Matt Cooke - Evgeni Malkin - James Neal
Beau Bennett - Brandon Sutter - Tyler Kennedy
Tanner Glass - Joe Vitale - Craig Adams
Brooks Orpik - Paul Martin
Matt Niskanen - Kris Letang
Simon Despres - Deryk Engelland
Goal: Marc-Andre Fleury