Preview: Ducks Continue Road Trip Against Sabres

The Buffalo Sabres will host the Anaheim Ducks tonight for their annual visit to Buffalo. The Sabres took down the top team in the Pacific Division on Tuesday and will now turn their focus to the second place team in the division. Buffalo is 5-1-1 against the Pacific this season, which has contributed to their stellar record in general against the Western Conference.

The Ducks enter tonight in the middle of a six-game eastern road trip. They’ve lost the first three games of the trip and are really having a hard time finding the back of the net. The big names like Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry have not produced to the level that was expected of them so far this season. Instead, young players like Rickard Rakell and Jakob Silfverberg have picked up the slack on the scoring end with solid seasons.

On the Sabres end of things, they come into tonight riding high after a thrilling comeback victory against the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday night. They’re 6-0-1 at home in their last seven games and have not lost in regulation in Key Bank Center since Dec. 29 against the Boston Bruins. A win tonight gets the Sabres into the playoff conversation once again with a big game against the Toronto Maple Leafs on the schedule for Saturday night at the Air Canada Centre.

Anaheim Ducks at Buffalo Sabres

Key Bank Center – 7:00 p.m. EST

Broadcast channels – MSG-B & PRIME

2016-17 Season Series: None

Anaheim Ducks – 28-17-10 – 66 Points

Road Record: 11-11-7

Hot Players: Jakob Silfverberg and John Gibson

Key Injuries: Sami Vatanen, Clayton Stoner and Simon Despres

*Projected lines:


Rickard Rakell – Ryan Getzlaf – Corey Perry

Andrew Cogliano – Ryan Kesler – Jakob Silfverberg

Nick Ritchie – Antoine Vermette – Ondrej Kase

Joseph Cramarossa – Nate Thompson – Logan Shaw


Cam Fowler – Kevin Bieksa

Hampus Lindholm – Brandon Montour

Shea Theodore – Josh Manson


John Gibson

* Lines subject to change


Buffalo Sabres – 22-21-10 – 54 Points

Home Record: 13-8-4

Hot Players: Tyler Ennis and Evander Kane

Key Injuries: Zach Bogosian, Evander Kane (game-time decision), Zemgus Girgensons and Johan Larsson

**Projected lines:


Tyler Ennis – Jack Eichel – Marcus Foligno

Kyle Okposo – Ryan O’Reilly – Sam Reinhart

Justin Bailey – Evan Rodrigues – Brian Gionta

Nic Deslauriers – Derek Grant – Matt Moulson


Rasmus Ristolainen – Dmitry Kulikov

Jake McCabe – Cody Franson

Justin Falk – Josh Gorges


Robin Lehner

** Lines subject to change. 

Game Notes

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]1)[/miptheme_dropcap] Evander Kane is a game-time decision for the Sabres tonight. He crashed into the boards awkwardly after scoring the game-winning goal on Tuesday against the Sharks. He sustained a wrist injury that he indicated this morning felt better than he expected. The expectation is for Kane to sit tonight, but I also wouldn’t rule him out completely. The Sabres recalled Derek Grant and Evan Rodrigues to fill in for Zemgus Girgensons who will be out and Kane if he’s unable to go.

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]2)[/miptheme_dropcap] John Gibson and Robin Lehner will be in goal tonight. Lehner has played extremely well as of late giving up only four goals in his last three starts and having a .966 save percentage over that stretch. Gibson has only won once in his previous four starts with a .907 save percentage.

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]3)[/miptheme_dropcap] The Ducks come into tonight really struggling to score goals. They haven’t scored more than twice in their last games and rank 20th in the league in scoring going into tonight. Even more surprising Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry have had a down year in goal production. The two top players for the Ducks have yet to eclipse the ten goal mark on the season.

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]4)[/miptheme_dropcap] The Sabres are in an odd part of the schedule where nine of their next 11 games are against the Western Conference. Fortunately, this could mean the club is in for a good month with a 10-4-2 record against the opposing conference this season.

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]5)[/miptheme_dropcap] The Sabres special teams has been a bright spot for the team this season and currently ranks third in the league. They scored two goals with the man advantage against the Sharks on Tuesday in three opportunities. The Ducks counter tonight with the fifth-ranked penalty kill.