The Sabres will have some added adversary in their second regular season game this afternoon. Due to travel issues, Buffalo didn’t arrive in Berlin until nearly 4 a.m. local time. Coming off a convincing 4-1 win over Anaheim, the Sabres will face the Los Angeles Kings at 2 p.m. this afternoon.
Los Angeles clawed back from a 2-1 deficit to topple the New York Rangers 3-2 in overtime, yesterday in Stockholm. Buffalo rode a dominant 40 minutes to victory in Helsinki before running into the travel monster at the airport.
Both teams received great play from their big guns yesterday and had great success on special teams. The Sabres scratched Matt Ellis and Mike Weber, while Jochen Hecht sat out with continued concussion issues. There is a possibility that Ellis and Weber could be inserted to get fresh legs, but everyone was part of the travel delay. I doubt they would bring much of a difference to the lineup.I have Jhonas Enroth and Jonathon Bernier as my projected starters since this is a back-to-back set and the unique situation of the NHL Premiere.
Mike Richards vs. Ville Leino. The pair of former Flyers each scored in their debut yesterday. Richards’ tied the game late, while Leino recorded the game winner with a beauty in the first period. Both are expected to contribute for their respective clubs this season. If one can trump the other today it may have an influence on the final score.
Projected Goaltending Matchup
BUF: Jhonas Enroth 2010-11: 14 GP, 9-2-2, 2.73 GAA, .907 SV%
LA: Jonathon Bernier 2010-11: 25 GP, 11-8-3, 2.48 GAA, .913 SV%
Last Meeting: 11/19/2010, HSBC Arena, Sabres 4 – Kings 2
Team Stats (Rank)
BUF: 1-0-0 2pts (T-1 NE), PP 2/4 50% (3), PK 5/5 100% (T-1)
LA: 1-0-0 2pts (T-1 PAC), PP 1/5 20% (7), PK 1/1 100% (T-1)
Buffalo’s success will again hinge on their special teams. They had a fairly solid game five-on-five and dominated the extra-man situations. If they continue that today they should see added success. Hopefully the Kings travel wasn’t friendly either and they aren’t sharper than Buffalo at the outset. Expect a tight-checking conservative attack from the Sabres as they find their legs.