Buffalo Sabres PreGame Skate #55: Edmonton Oilers


The battle of the bottom takes place tonight as the Buffalo Sabres host the Edmonton Oilers tonight in downtown Buffalo.

Four points separates these two teams, but from what?

Jan 30, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Buffalo Sabres forward Tyler Ennis (63) and defensemen Jamie McBain (4) battles for the puck with Phoenix Coyotes forward David Moss (18) in the second period at Jobing.com Arena. The Sabres won 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

Last place. Simple as that, both teams are struggling this season; that is no surprise. So Buffalo looking to close the gap by earning another two points at home, will be playing their first of two meetings this season against the Oilers. Tonight will be the first time since the 2000-2001  they have met twice in the same season. Tonight will be Buffalo’s 55th game of the season, and number 58 for Edmonton.

The last time these two teams met, back on January 3, 2012, Buffalo defeated Edmonton by a score of 4-3, thanks to goals from Jason Pominville, Drew Stafford, Jordan Leopold and Nathan Gerbe. Stafford also picked up 2 assists in the win, tallying on Leopold’s and Gerbe’s.

Fortunately, after being on the injured reserve since January, Drew Stafford will return to the lineup tonight, ready to play and hopefully help the Buffalo offense once again.

They will need it, after a 7-1 stumbling loss to the Colorado Avalanche, Buffalo will need all the help they can get.

Last game, Buffalo was outplayed immensely. Despite Buffalo managing a decent amount of shots, only being out shot 39-28, Buffalo fell victim to an off night by Ryan Miller, who was pulled after surrendering five goals to the hometown Avalanche.

Matt D’Agostini scored the lone goal for Buffalo on a powerplay in the second period. It was his third goal this season with Tyler Ennis and  Christian Ehrhoff receiving credit for the assists.

After replacing Miller in the second, Jhonas Enroth made ten saves in relief, giving up the final two goals of the game.

Enroth gets another shot at a win tonight, being named starter for tonight’s contest. Again, this is no surprise considering Buffalo has three games left before the Olympics take over for the next few weeks, Miller needs his rest, and Jhonas needs as many games to stay sharp.

Jan 28, 2014; Buffalo, NY, USA; Buffalo Sabres goalie Jhonas Enroth (1) protects the net during the third period against the Washington Capitals at First Niagara Center. Capitals beat the Sabres 5-4 in OT. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

This is Enroth’s second start in four games, losing 5-4 in overtime against the Capitals. Buffalo cured their offensive demise when Enroth was in net, notching four goals to support their backup.

Over the past ten games against Edmonton, Buffalo holds a 6-3-1 record over the Oilers, while 4-4-2 in their last 10 home games against them. Overall, Buffalo stands even at 13-13-7 at home. This is also the 66th game between the two, Edmonton holds the edge over Buffalo in those games. Buffalo is 21-34-10 against the Oilers.

Tyler Ennis will try and extend his point streak tonight, going for his fourth straight game with a point. Steve Ott and Cody Hodgson will also try and continue their successes, with Ott having six points in the last seven games, and Hodgson having ten in the past eleven games.

Buffalo has a six game winning streak against the Oilers, with Ryan Miller starting all six of those games, can Jhonas keep the streak alive? Will Buffalo give Enroth the support he needs to earn his second win of the season? Can Buffalo close the gap between 30th and 29th, with three games in hand over Edmonton? Tune in tonight and see! Then be sure to come back after the game to Sabrenoise to read all of the post game action! Puck drops at 7!