NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, January 9th
(All times Eastern)
Florida Panthers (16-21-6) at Buffalo Sabres (12-26-4), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - After having their most recent game postponed due to a
blizzard, the Buffalo Sabres will get back to work on Thursday when they host
the Florida Panthers at First Niagara Center.
The Sabres were set to host Carolina on Tuesday, but hazardous weather
conditions in the Buffalo area led to the contest being postponed. So far, a
makeup-date has not been announced.
Buffalo began what was supposed to be a three-game homestand with Saturday's
2-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils. After snowy conditions shortened the
residency, the Sabres will be back on the road when they visit Washington on
Matt D'Agostini scored the winner in the third period for the Sabres on
Saturday. Matt Moulson had the other goal while Ryan Miller made 21 saves for
the Sabres, who had dropped three of four coming into the test against the
The winning goal came on the power play as Dainius Zubrus was in the box for
interference. Steve Ott took a pass in the deep right boards and tried to wrap
it in. Devils goaltender Cory Schneider made the initial save, but the rebound
kicked out front and D'Agostini slammed it home with 8:11 to play.
"It was good. I've been getting the chances, just not capitalizing on them,"
said D'Agostini. "I was trying not to let that wear on me too much and just
keep playing my game, but it was good to get one to fall tonight."
The victory was the fifth straight on home ice for Buffalo, which is 9-12-2
as the host this season compared to an awful 3-14-2 road record.
Buffalo defenseman Tyler Myers will begin a three-game suspension tonight.
Myers was given the ban by the NHL for an illegal check to the head of Zubrus.
The Panthers, meanwhile, have lost two of three and five of their last seven
games. The club began a three-game road trip Monday in Montreal and lost a 2-1
regulation decision, as Brian Gionta scored the game-winner for the Canadiens
with 4:14 left in the second period.
Aleksander Barkov, the second overall pick of the 2013 draft, assisted on Sean
Bergenheim's goal to extend his point streak to six games, setting a Florida
rookie record for consecutive games with a point. Barkov has one goal and six
assists during the scoring streak, giving him seven goals and 22 points in 43
games this season.
Tim Thomas made 33 saves to take the tough-luck loss for the Panthers.
"We didn't look good for two periods," Florida head coach Peter Horachek said.
"We had chances in the third. We have to play 60 minutes of every game."
Florida fell to 7-12-2 as the road team this season. The club will complete
its current swing with Saturday's test in New Jersey.
Buffalo posted a 3-1 win at Florida on Oct. 25, but the Panthers have claimed
four of the past seven encounters overall and have claimed two of the last
three tilts in Western New York.
01/09 10:49:14 ET