Home sweet home for the Buffalo Sabres (20-45-8) after a very long and grueling road trip for their fans and the players. Magic will be in the building for at least the first part of the game. The Buffalo Sabres host the Tampa Bay Lightning (40-24-9) on a night that will kick off Fan Appreciation month, which officially starts in April.
The magic that will happen tonight will be the formal induction of Dominik “The Dominator” Hasek into the Buffalo Sabres Hall of Fame. With his professional career finally officially over, the team that he made a name for himself on is finally able to honor the best goalie to ever don a Sabres uniform.
The words praising Dominik Hasek will likely get old very quickly leading up to and even just after the game today, but the Buffalo Sabres are going to try and stretch out the feel good moments as long as they can – hoping to get as many positive nights in for their fans as possible. That being said the hanging of number 39 in the rafters will wait until next season.
So far in the season series with the Sabres and Lightning, the Bolts won the first game in Buffalo, but the teams split the games that took place in Florida. Tampa Bay has picked up points in their last three road games and have points in their last ten games total, so they are hoping to continue that success against the Buffalo Sabres. While the Sabres haven’t been able to embrace their roll as spoiler so far this season; they can help prevent some of these playoff teams from picking up further points. If recent history has been any sort of inclination, they are not likely stealing any points from any teams in the remaining nine games.
The Sabres do get some of their talent back, with the return of Zemgus Girgensons back from an undisclosed upper body injury. Ted Nolan is hopping it provides an offensive spark by sticking his Olympic forward back into the lineup.
This is the 81st all time meeting between the two franchises, and the Buffalo Sabres have a record of 50-24-6 against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Game time is scheduled for 7PM – and if your headed downtown to the arena for the game, the Sabres are asking that you be in your seats by 6:50 for the pregame festivities honoring Dominik Hasek.