BUFFALO SABRES (0-1-0) VS. Tampa Bay Lightning (1-0-0)
OCTOBER 10TH 2015
FIRST NIAGARA CENTER
PUCK DROP: 1:00 PM
TV: MSG, SUN
RADIO: WGR 550 AM
Outlook: The Sabres dropped the season opener Thursday 3-1 at the hands of the Ottawa Senators. The Lightning meanwhile defeated Philadelphia 3-2 in the first ever 3-on-3 OT. Jason Garrison scored the historic goal at 2:43 of the OT session while on a breakaway.
Jack Eichel scored the Sabres lone goal and Chad Johnson was forced into the net after starter Robin Lehner went out with an injury. Johnson will get the start Saturday afternoon. Lehner’s injury is considered to be serious and his return is unknown. Andrey Makarov was called up from the AHL’s Rochester Americans to back-up Johnson for the interim.
Ben Bishop continued his all-star form between the pipes Thursday making 23 saves including three in OT. Garrison had two goals while Ryan Callahan chipped in the other and assisted on the game’s first goal versus the Flyers.
Entering Saturday’s game in Buffalo, the Lightning are completely healthy. In addition to Lehner, Cody McCormick and Zach Bogosian remain out for Buffalo. Brian Gionta could return to the lineup for the Sabres.
Sam Reinhart saw three shifts in the 3rd period versus Ottawa. Several players saw limited ice time down the stretch as a number of Sabres seemed to watch what Ottawa was doing as opposed to attacking. Ryan O’Reilly had a slow start and to his own admission was unhappy with his performance.
Tampa represented the Eastern Conference last June in the Stanley Cup, losing to the Chicago Blackhawks in six games. This is a good, early season test for the young Sabres squad.
Take a look at this replay of Jack Eichel’s first NHL goal:
The Sabres haven’t had a player since Alexander Mogilny with that type of ability and patience with the puck. Most players would have shot immediately and probably into the chest area of the opposing goaltenders. Eichel waited for the goalie to commit and fired a perfect shot into the only opening available.
Wolf’s Keys to the Game
– Puck Possession
– Force Tampa into Taking Low Percentage Shots
– Need High Profile Players to Contribute
– Put Pressure on Buffalo’s Defense
– Win the Battles Along the Boards
– Play with the Lead
Wolf’s Prediction: Tampa 6-4
This Sabres vs Lightning Preview Sponsored by the Paul Wolf Agency
Paul Wolf Agency
2686 Elmwood Ave.
Tonawanda, NY 14217