Tonight, the Hurricanes and Sabres will meet for the final time in the 2007-08 regular season. So far, the home team has won all three games in the series. Buffalo managed an overtime loss in Raleigh last week, so Carolina has gained four standings points, going 2-1-0 so far while Buffalo has gained three standings points, going 1-1-1 so far.
Last time, I commented that the Sabres were eat up with injuries. Things have only gotten worse for them in that department. Defensemen Dmitri Kalinin, Jaro Spacek and Centerman Tim Connolly continue to be out of the lineup. Now, defenseman Nathan Paetsch has been added to the list after suffering a concussion in Wednesday's game against the Penguins. For that hit that caused the concussion, Pens tough guy Le Grand GG Georges Laraque has been suspended for three games.
Just as in the 2006 Eastern Conference Finals, the Sabres are reduced to playing some very inexperienced defensemen. The third pairing of Michael Funk and Mike Weber have five career NHL games between them.
By no means, though, should anybody count the Sabres out. They're a good team, and they're gonna bring it. They're on the outside looking in, and they desperately need a win. They're not about to roll over or mail it in.
Carolina is 8-1-1 in their last ten, while Buffalo is 2-5-3 in theirs.
I can't stress enough. Don't count them out. This should be a good game. There is a bit of a rivalry, and for no other reason, the Sabres' postseason hopes pretty much hinge on this game.
Cam Ward will get his 11th straight start while Ryan Miller will get his millionth straight start. He isn't just the #1 guy. He is THE guy. He's got his Martin Brodeur pants on, and all kidding aside, this is going to be his 25th straight start.
Carolina fans will be keeping a close eye on other games around the league. Atlanta at Washington and Rangers at Florida. Go Thrash! Go Rags! Oddly, the Sabres will also be rooting for Atlanta in that game, as both the Caps and the Sabres are trying to claw back into the eighth playoff spot.
Eric Staal, Sergei Samsonov, Matt Cullen and Joe Corvo all have five game points streaks going.
Puck drop is 7:30.
As always, check out BFLOBLOG for excellent Buffalo perspective and an open thread during the game. If you make comments over there, please act like you have some sense. They're good guys.
4 years ago