It will be the second of back to back games for the Canes after they defeated the Washington Capitals last night at Verizon Center. Cam Ward and Ryan Miller will get the start for their respective teams. Currently, the Canes sit four points back of Buffalo and the Sabres are pushing for the final playoff spot in the eastern conference, currently held by the Winnipeg Jets. It will be the fourth and final meeting between the two clubs, as the Hurricanes currently hold a 2-1 record against Buffalo this year. The last meeting was a 4-2 Canes victory in Raleigh on January 6th, where Eric Staal led the way with 3 points (1G, 2A) and Cam Ward made 31 saves on 33 Sabre shots. Eric Staal will look to continue his point streak, currently at 12 games, which matches the longest streak in the NHL this season. Jiri Tlusty has points in 3 straight.
As mentioned earlier, the Sabres are in a battle for the 8th and final playoff spot in the eastern conference. They are lead by Jason Pominville with 59 points (23G, 36A) in 66 games. Derek Roy has been a “Canes Killer,” as he has 29 points (13G, 16A) in 26 career games against Carolina. The aforementioned Pominville and Thomas Vanek both have 3 points in 3 games against the Canes this season. The Sabres come back home after a 5-game road trip where their only regulation loss was against the Winnipeg Jets on Monday night (3-1), picking up seven out of a possible ten points on the trip. It will be extremely important for the Canes to get off to a good start. Buffalo did not play last night and will be ready for Carolina tonight. Buffalo has averaged giving up just 1.67 goals/game over their last nine games, so it will be critical for the Canes to pepper Ryan Miller early and often.
Expect the following lines for the Canes tonight:
Tlusty – Staal – Samson
Skinner – Jokinen – LaRose
Dwyer – Sutter – Nodl
Joslin – Brent – Stewart
Harrison – Faulk
Allen – Gleason
McBain – Spacek
Make sure to check back tomorrow for a recap! The game will be on FS Carolinas with the pre game starting at 6:30, or go check out the Cool Bars in North Raleigh.