Miller to go for milestone win vs. Flames
Monday, 12.27.2010 / 7:00 PMSABRES (14-17-4) at FLAMES (15-18-3)
MSG-B (HD); SNET-W (HD)
Last 10 --
Buffalo 5-4-1; Calgary 4-5-1
Season series --
This is the only game between the teams this season. The Sabres won the only meeting last season, 2-1 in a shootout Nov. 13, 2009.
Big Story --
The Sabres will play their first game since learning that center Derek Roy
, the team's leading scorer, will miss the remainder of the season due to upcoming surgery to repair a torn quadriceps tendon. Buffalo also will seek its first win at Calgary since Oct. 18, 2003 as it opens a brief two-game road trip Monday. Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller
likely will get the start and will seek his 200th NHL victory.
The road has not been a friendly place for the Sabres this season as they have dropped six of their last seven away from Buffalo and own a 6-7-3 road record this season. Things won't get any easier as the Sabres must now figure out how to replace Roy's 10 goals and club-leading 35 points. He went down following a big hit by Florida's Dmitry Kulikov in Buffalo's 4-3 home loss this past Thursday.
Calgary has lost three of its last four games, and overcame a 2-1 third-period deficit last Thursday at Dallas to take that game, 3-2 in a shootout. Currently sitting 14th in the Western Conference with just 33 points, the Flames will need more efforts similar to what they got in the win over Dallas if they hope to creep back into the playoff picture.
"Obviously, this is something we can build on," coach Brent Sutter said following Thursday's game. "To come into this building and play as well as we did, it's a plus."
Who's Hot --
Flames captain Jarome Iginla
has managed at least a point in 12 of his last 13 games, including an assist in each of his last three games. Iginla has 4 goals and 15 points over that span.
Injury Report --
Roy will miss 4-6 months following surgery to fix his torn quad tendon. Center Tim Connolly missed the Sabres' last game with a broken nose that required surgery. … Calgary has forwards Daymond Langkow
(neck) and Raitis Ivanans
(concussion), and defenseman Steve Staios (upper body) on injured reserve.
Stat Pack --
If the Sabres are going to find someone to replace the offensive void left by Roy, it will probably be Thomas Vanek
. The left wing is second on the team with 25 points, including a team-leading 13 goals.
Puck Drop --
Buffalo has struggled to start games strongly and Thursday's loss to the Panthers was no different as it was down 3-0 after the first period. This is a fact that even some of Buffalo's younger players are aware needs changing.
"We've been known to start slow in games," second-year defenseman Tyler Myers
told the team's website following the game. "We are going to have to find a way to play the whole 60 (minutes) and come out of the gate hard."