It’s an early game day for the Buffalo Sabres (15-30-8) as they have an afternoon contest with the Colorado Avalanche (34-14-5). Both teams skate into this afternoons contest on small winning streaks, Buffalo coming in off their second victory of the season over the Phoenix Coyotes and the Avalanche riding a two game winning streak.
Colorado is holding down the third guaranteed playoff spot in the Central division – with a nine point lead over the Western Conference wild card race.
While the Sabres have found success against the Phoenix Coyotes in their two game series – Colorado has had the better of Buffalo. The teams last met when Ron Rolston and Darcy Regier were in town though – so the fact that the Colorado won 4-2 back on October 19th should have no bearing as the Buffalo Sabres, despite being largely the same team have a different level of compete since Ted Nolan and new GM Tim Murray have come on board.
This is the 135th meeting between the Buffalo Sabres and Colorado Avalanche/Quebec Nordiques. Buffalo has a 59-51-24 record all-time against this franchise (9-7-6 since the team moved from Quebec to Colorado). Buffalo is 3-3-4 in the last ten games against Colorado – but they are 5-2-3 in their last ten games, in the Mile High City. Buffalo has not won against the Avalanche, however, since December 4, 2005 when the Sabres beat the Av’s 6-4 in Colorado.
The Sabres winless drought against the Avalanche is their longest against any current team in the NHL at eight years. Colorado is hoping to ride the energy of goalie Semyon Varlamov who has recently signed a five year extension with the Av’s