NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, December 17th
(All times Eastern)
Winnipeg Jets (15-15-5) at Buffalo Sabres (7-23-3), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Winnipeg Jets will try to win consecutive games for
the first time in nearly three weeks when they visit the lowly Buffalo Sabres
for Tuesday's clash at First Niagara Center.
The Jets, who are 5-6-3 over their last 14 games, halted a three-game slide
with Monday's close regulation win at Columbus. Another victory tonight would
give Winnipeg two straight wins for the first time since it beat New Jersey
and the New York Islanders on Nov. 25 and 27, respectively.
Winnipeg notched a 3-2 victory Monday night in Ohio, where Evander Kane's goal
midway through the third period proved to be the game-winner over the Blue
Jackets. Kane, who also had an assist, returned to the lineup after missing
six games with a lower-body injury.
"I put on my skates and I tried to help this team win -- that's just how I
am," Kane said.
Mark Scheifele and Bryan Little also lit the lamp on Monday, while Al Montoya
stopped 22-of-24 shots for the victory.
Monday's win pushed Winnipeg's road record this season to 8-7-1. The Jets, who
are closing a two-game road trip tonight, will host Florida on Friday before
heading back out on another two-game swing.
The Sabres, who occupy last place in the NHL with only 17 points on the
season, have lost two straight, five of six and 10 of their last 12 games.
Buffalo did manage to earn a rare point in its most recent outing after losing
Saturday's home test against Calgary in overtime.
Buffalo scored the game's first goal at 5:40 of the third period on a tally by
Matt Moulson, but Paul Byron tied the game for Calgary a little over 2 1/2
minutes later. Matt Stajan then scored 42 seconds into OT to lift the Flames
to victory, Calgary's first win in Buffalo since March 15, 1996. The Flames
had eight losses and one tie in their previous nine trips to Western New York.
Stajan beat Jhonas Enroth to the far side on a shot from the left circle for
the winner. Enroth made 24 saves for the Sabres, who fell to 2-8-2 in their
last 12 games.
"We gotta get some breaks. We hit four goal posts today," said Sabres interim
coach Ted Nolan. "We just have to keep going until (the players) find
Sabres forward Cody McCormick suffered an upper-body injury while blocking a
shot on Saturday and will miss the next four-to-six weeks. However, fellow
forward Cody Hodgson is expected back in the lineup tonight after missing the
last two games with a lower-body issue.
Buffalo defenseman Alexander Sulzer may also come off injured reserve to play
in Tuesday' game.
The Jets have dominated Buffalo in recent seasons, taking six straight overall
and three in a row in Western New York.
Buffalo is 4-12-2 on home ice this season.
12/17 10:47:22 ET