The Ducks went through a brisk morning skate at First Niagara Center in preparation for a Saturday night showdown against the Buffalo Sabres.
Expect the Ducks to dress the same lineup from two nights ago in Boston, which means goaltender Jonas Hiller will get his third consecutive start in net. Hiller is 5-2-1 with a 2.46 goals-against average and .913 save percentage.
Anaheim is 3-2-1 on its season long eight-game, 15-day road trip, and has earned points in four straight (3-0-1), but the team isn’t completely satisfied with the performance.
"They want to win every game,” said head coach Bruce Boudreau after Thursday’s game. “That's why the record is what it is right now and they're not going to be happy with a shootout loss. We wanted that extra point so I would expect nobody to be happy.”
We’ll see if that emotion carries over into tonight’s game against the struggling Sabres. Buffalo is a league-worst 2-12-1 and has yet to win at home (0-7-1). In addition, the Sabres have been outscored 43-23 and have lost three in a row. However, there are no guarantees in the NHL, so the Ducks will have to be sharp in order to come out of Buffalo with two points.
Earlier this morning, the Sabres announced the club placed forward Patrick Kaleta on waivers. The 27-year-old just finished his 10-game suspension for an illegal hit to the head of Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson. Kaleta was eligible to return tonight against the Ducks.
NOTE: Boudreau will be behind the bench for his 450th career NHL game tonight.
EXPECTED LINE COMBINATIONS
Patrick Maroon – Ryan Getzlaf – Corey Perry
Dustin Penner – Nick Bonino – Devante Smith-Pelly
Andrew Cogliano – Mathieu Perreault – Kyle Palmieri
Daniel Winnik – Peter Holland – Emerson Etem
Hampus Lindholm – Francois Beauchemin
Cam Fowler – Ben Lovejoy
Bryan Allen – Sami Vatanen
Anaheim and Buffalo open a two-game season series tonight at First Niagara Center, marking the first meeting between the clubs since Feb. 29, 2012. The Ducks are 8-14-4 all-time vs. the Sabres, including a 3-6-4 mark in Buffalo. Anaheim's last win in Buffalo came on Feb. 24, 2009 in a 3-2 victory. Mathieu Perreault leads active Ducks skaters in career scoring against the Sabres, earning six points (2g/4a) in eight games. Following tonight's game, these two teams will meet again next Friday, Nov. 8 at Honda Center to conclude the season set.