Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Season Outlook: Buffalo Sabres vs. Colorado Avalanche

For the first time in over a year and a half, the Buffalo Sabres and Colorado Avalanche will face each other in NHL action this coming season. Not only will the teams meet – they’ll face off twice, once in each team’s home venue.

The Colorado Avalanche come to Buffalo on Saturday, October 19, while the teams switch spots on Saturday, February 1.

These games will mark the first time the teams play each other since March 14, 2012. That game ended in a 5-4 shootout victory for the Avalanche. Prior to that, the teams met on January 4, 2011, with Colorado taking a 4-3 overtime victory.

Let’s rewind back to the game of March 2012 – a true heartbreaker. Marcus Foligno had a pair of goals, while Drew Stafford and Alexander Sulzer also scored. The Sabres were leading, 4-3… until, with literally two seconds remaining in regulation, Jamie McGinn scored to tie the game for the Avalanche. After striking out in the shootout, the Sabres would drop the game to Colorado after Peter Mueller scored the lone goal in the shootout.

McGinn had two goals in the win, while Paul Statsny added a pair of assists. Semyon Varlamov stopped 20 of 24 shots faced in the victory for the Avalanche.

The Avalanche lost two players in free agency this offseason: Aaron Palushaj and Geoff Walker. They also traded away David Jones and Shane O’Brien, getting Alex Tanguay and Cory Sarich in return. Through free agency, they picked up Andre Benoit, Nate Guenin, Nick Holden, JT Wyman and Guillaume Desbiens.

Colorado ended last season second-to-last in the league standings and last in the Western Conference. The Avalanche went 16-25-7 and scored 39 points in 48 games during the shortened season.

Players to Watch:

  • COLORADO: Team captain Gabriel Landeskog has played just one career game against the Sabres, but he has two points (1-1) and five shots against Buffalo in that time. Matt Duchene has three goals and is a plus-3 in two career games against the Sabres, having missed the most recent meeting against Buffalo. Right winger PA Parenteau, who tied with Duchene for the team points lead last season, has nine points (2-7) in 11 games against Buffalo in his NHL career.
  • BUFFALO: Many players on the current Sabres roster have never suited up in a game against the Avalanche before, including Mark Pysyk, Brian Flynn and Marcus Foligno. Some – like Kevin Porter – have previously BEEN a member of the Avalanche organization. However, there are a few players who have put up numbers against Colorado in their NHL careers. Defenseman Christian Ehrhoff leads the way with 2 goals and 12 asists for 14 points in 31 games. Steve Ott has seven points in 27 career games versus Colorado, while  Drew Stafford and Thomas Vanek have each scored five points against the Avalanche in their NHL careers.

Meetings This Season:

  • October 19 @ BUF
  • February 1 @ COL

Tags: Buffalo Sabres Colorado Avalanche.

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