NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, October 12th
(All times Eastern)
Buffalo Sabres (0-4-1) at Chicago Blackhawks (2-1-1), 8 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The offensively-challenged Buffalo Sabres will try again
to pick up their first win of the season on Saturday, but they'll have to do
so in Chicago against the defending Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks.
The Sabres are 0-4-1 on the young season and are last in the NHL with just
five goals through five games. Buffalo scored a season-high two goals in a 3-2
overtime loss to visiting Tampa Bay on Tuesday before losing Thursday's home
test against Columbus by a 4-1 score.
Thomas Vanek, who has two of the Sabres' five goals this season, tallied the
lone Buffalo marker on Thursday, while Ryan Miller, who missed Tuesday's tilt
with a groin injury, allowed all four goals on 33 shots for the winless the
"We have guys in this room who can make plays," Miller said. "We have to get
past this hump."
Buffalo hasn't gone this far into a season without a win since opening the
1999-2000 season with five losses and two ties.
The Sabres will try to earn their first win of the season tonight, but the
club's recent history against the Blackhawks says they'll have a tough time
pulling it off. Chicago has won three straight and four of five against
Buffalo and the Sabres have also dropped three in a row in the Windy City.
While Buffalo is aiming for its first win of the season, the Blackhawks will
try to earn consecutive victories for the first time in 2013-14. Chicago began
the campaign with a win over Washington before losing back-to-back tilts
against Tampa Bay and St. Louis. However, the defending champs found
themselves back in the win column after Friday's 3-2 decision against the
visiting New York Islanders.
Duncan Keith notched a pair of assists and Nikolai Khabibulin made a
triumphant return to Chicago in the Blackhawks' regulation win over the
Michal Handzus netted the game-winning goal in the second period, while
Khabibulin stopped all 12 shots he faced over the final two frames in his
first start as a Blackhawk since the 2009 Western Conference finals. The
veteran netminder, who previously spent four seasons with Chicago from
2005-09, re-signed with the team during the offseason.
Khabibulin finished with 17 saves overall for the Blackhawks, who also
received goals from Jonathan Toews and rookie Joakim Nordstrom.
"He had a heck of a game," Chicago head coach Joel Quenneville said of
Nordstrom. "Did a lot of good things."
Corey Crawford, the Blackhawks No. 1 goaltender, expects to be back between
the pipes for Chicago on Friday.
10/12 10:39:30 ET