Friday, November 7, 2008

Game 13: Sabres/Thrashers Preview

The Sabres are coming off a good win against the ailing Devils on Monday night. They also should be rested and healthy heading into the back to back weekend against the Thrashers and the Bruins. The Thrashers are coming into this game on a high themselves having a third period comeback to beat the Islanders on the Island last night 4-3.

The Sabres are getting healthier as well with Jochen Hecht coming back from finger surgery. This poses a problem for the Sabres as the Hecht reentry puts them over the player limit. There are three players that could pass through waivers untouched. They are Drew Stafford, Kaleta, and Sekera. While it would make sense to send Stafford down because of the fact that he is struggling so bad, Kevin Dineen had comments yesterday that makes it sound that they will not do that move. The second move that makes sense would be sending Matt Ellis down through waivers and hoping that no one picks him up. With the fact that he hasn't played bad in his time here, passing him through waivers could be a hard option.

While the Sabres are getting healthier, the Thrashers are starting to encounter injuries. Defensemen Mathieu Schneider is going to be out for this game with a hip flexor issue. He strained it during warmups last night.

The last meeting against the Thrashers saw Lalime making some major saves as the Sabres wiped out a third period deficit to tie the game and eventually losing it in a shootout, 3-2. At the time, the Sabres were coming off a game the night before and traveling. Now the shoe is on the other foot so it should make for an interesting game tonight. As a note, Johan Hedberg will start in net for the Thrashers while most likely we will see Miller again due to the fact that he is on a two game shutout streak. Game time is 7:30 at the Bank. Here are the stats.


Stat Leaders
Goals - Vanek (11)
Assists - Spacek, Sekera (8)
Points - Vanek (14)
Plus/Minus - Lydman, Vanek (+5)
Penalty Minutes - Mair (37)
Shots - Vanek (52)

Special Teams
Power Play: 20.3% (Tied for 9th in League)
Penalty Kill: 91.1% (2nd in League)

Miller: 7-1-1, 1.62 GAA, .942 SV%
Lalime: 1-1-1, 2.59 GAA, .910 SV%


Stat Leaders
Goals - Kozlov (8)
Assists - White (11)
Points - White (14)
Plus/Minus - Little (+5)
Penalty Minutes - Boulton (35)
Shots - Kovalchuk (35)

Special Teams
Power Play: 16.4% (Tied for 18th in League)
Penalty Kill: 75.0% (28th in League)

Pavelec: 2-0, 2.57 GAA, .859 SV%
Lehtonen: 2-5-2, 3.44 GAA, .903 SV%
Hedberg: 0-2, 6.41 GAA, .817 SV%

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