Trip to the Igloo
Last night the Sabres earned a hard fought 2 points with a Divisional 5-4 win over the Leafs. Thomas Vanek carried the team with a 4 point night (2g 2a). Ryan Miller played strong even though he gave up 4 goals. The Sabres PP clicked last night with 3 PPG in the 2nd period. The Leafs 30th ranked PK helped out the blue and gold. Dion Phaneuf was given a 5 min boarding penalty and game misconduct on hit to Kassian in the 2nd. Phaneuf will not be suspended for the hit, which is not surprising (see Lucic and Bourdon). I think if Leino received 1 game for his elbow and having a spotless history, then Phaneuf deserved at least 1 game with a history. It is what it is I won't lose sleep over it.
Tonight the Sabres head out for a 5 game road trip starting in Pittsburgh. The Penguins took a tough 6-4 loss to the Sens last night in Ottawa. So both teams traveled and played last night so no excuses there. Also like the Sabres the Pens are dealing with injuries. Sid of course is the top injury, but Kris Letang and Jordan Staal are a few others on the injury list. Paul Martin left the game last night with an injury and Michalek has missed time as well. So with Leino, Boyes, Myers, Gerbe, Kaleta and Hecht out for Buffalo no excuses there as well.
Colin Staurt was called up last night to take the place of the injured Patrick Kaleta, but did not dress instead Ruff went with 7 D-men. Tonight however Ruff may drop back down to 6. That means either Gragnani, McNabb, or Weber will be watching from the press box. I believe Gragnani stays in, because Ruff likes him on the PP and he did play well last night. Weber on the other hand has struggled since returning, and McNabb only saw about 7 minutes of ice time last night. I think it's down to McNabb and Weber and I believe Weber will be the one watching from upstairs.
It looks like Miller is going to start his 2nd straight game tonight. He was not on the ice for the pre-game skate and Enroth was along with Boyes, Myers, and McNabb. Enroth has struggled as of late and Miller has been solid since returning from injury. Ruff has to be careful here he cannot get away from Enroth because he has struggled a few games. He needs to play regularly to give Miller his rest. Tonight will be a big battle with 2 important points at stake. With a Sabres W they can move to within one point of the Pens with 37pts. It would be nice to see the Sabres distance themselves from the 9th place and 10th place teams with 34 and 33 points.
Prediction: Hard fought battle tonight I think the Sabres start to get rollin as they get healthier 3-2 Sabres.
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