The Buffalo Sabres (19-42-8) continue their Western Conference road trip by skating into the Rexall Place to take on the last place team in the Western Confernce, the Edmonton Oilers (25-36-9).
Winning out could put Edmonton no closer to the playoffs than they already sit, on the outside looking in. Odds are they will not be able to overcome the Buffalo Sabres for the last place team in the league.
The Oilers are trying to avoid another last place finish in the West, and are chasing the Calgary Flames to start their rise from the basement. With this being the second game in the season series, it will be the last time the Sabres and Oilers meet. The first meeting was back on February 3rd where the Oilers won 3-2. Different teams skate tonight, as Sam Gagner looks for his 100th NHL goal. In the Sabres favor they are 6-2-0 in their past eight games against the Oilers and haven’t lost in Edmonton since October 16, 2003. That spans two lockouts.
Unfortunately the Buffalo Sabres will be trying to snap a seven game losing streak against the Edmonton Oilers, and using another new goaltender to do it, as Matt Hackett will get the start in net tonight.
Buffalo Sabres and Edmonton Oilers Injuries
It reads like a bad teams starting lineup sometimes, oh wait, they are bad team starting lineups. The Buffalo Sabres remain without Tyler Myers (elbow) and Alexander Sulzer (upper body) on the blue line, and forwards Christ Stewart (ankle) and Zemgus Girgensons (lower body) wont be on the ice tonight or the foreseeable future. Goaltender Jhonas Enroth remained in Buffalo on this trip as well, while Michal Neuvirth could be ready by the Canucks game.
Playing With Fire and Cooling on Ice
The Buffalo Sabres are the coldest team in hockey right now, with their offensive production being iced. Despite a hot start after the Olympic break, the Sabres have dropped their last seven games. Edmonton is in their second game of a six game homestand, and hope to catch the Calgary Flames with some success at home. The Oilers have picked up seven of a possible ten points in their last five games at the Rexall Place.
For Drew Stafford, the Buffalo Sabres nose dive has come as an enlightenment period for him. Stafford has five points (four goals and an assist) in his last six games, and has taken on a large presence on the ice and in the leadership aspect.
Sam Gagner is on a bit of a torrid pace in Edmonton, in his pas eight games he has two goals and nine assists for Edmonton.
Game time is 9:30 tonight, so brew that cup of coffee or drink your red bull, it could be an interesting game.