Nikita Zadorov Is The One To Watch Against Panthers


The Buffalo Sabres sent down Mark Pysyk to the Rochester Americans yesterday and that means Nikita Zadorov will be back in the lineup for tonight’s game against the Florida Panthers. The Buffalo Sabres have only one win against the Panthers out of four games played and the difference maker in the win was the young defenseman Zadorov.

With the drama of his brief suspension out of the way, Nikita Zadorov will be the man to watch as he will have a serious jump in his step. He has something to prove to the coaches and his teammates, and that’s his loyalty and heart he has. Tonight against the Panthers all eyes on Nikita Zadorov.

How To Watch

The Florida Panthers recently traded away a couple of draft picks in order to acquire longtime NHL veteran Jaromir Jagr. He is the man that will be watched from the Panther’s end to be providing some leadership and also some added scoring touch. Despite being in his early 40s, Jagr can still shoot the puck better than most in the league.

This is where Nikita Zadorov’s presence will come in handy. Jagr stands at 6’3 and 230 pounds and Zadorov stands at 6’5 and 220 pounds. That matchup to Jagr will be a solid wall to keep him in his place. The duty will fall on Zach Bogosian once again to stop the top scorer in Nick Bjugstad, so it’s a solid matchup for Zadorov to cover the second most dangerous scorer the Panthers have.

It’s assumed that Zadorov will be paired once again with Rasmus Ristolainen (who has been solid in the past number of games) and they will be a noticeable presence for sure. The Panthers are making a hopeful push to the playoffs and it will be up to the Sabres defense to stop them.

Now I understand the Sabres lead in the race for 30th’s place is dwindling, but let’s put that aside for a moment to focus on the progress made by the young defense this season. In the past few games it is obvious that Ristolainen is developing well and is developing chemistry with Zadorov, and that will pan out well for Buffalo next season for sure. Mark Pysyk was sent down for continued seasoning, but it was clear over the past few games that he doesn’t need much more.

Overall, Zadorov is the man to watch for tonight, but the defense in general is currently the basis of the team. With that in place, they are being set up to be in a much better spot next season.


I’ll make my prediction around Nikita Zadorov for tonight by saying that he’ll have a solid 5 hits and even a point or two. He will be firing on all cylinders to try and prove himself to Coach Nolan so he’ll be giving his all.

If Zadorov is as key a presence as he needs to be, the Sabres will win this one 3-1, but if he lets Jagr loose then the score will be 3-1 going the other way.

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