SABRES (24-29-7) at DUCKS (31-19-8)
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET; BELL TV, MSG-B, FS-W, NHL.TV
ANAHEIM - The Buffalo Sabres' game Wednesday against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center will be their first since the trade of popular veteran defenseman Mike Weber.
The Sabres selected Weber in the second-round (No. 57) in the 2006 NHL Draft and he played all eight of his NHL seasons with them. He was traded to the Washington Capitals on Tuesday for a third-round pick in the 2017 NHL Draft.
He had five points in 35 games and averaged 15:54 of ice time per game but he still had an impact.
"I've only had the opportunity to coach Mike for one year but he's been a part of the Sabres organization for a long time," coach Dan Bylsma said. "It's been a long time; 10 years now for Mike. It's a bit of a sad moment to see him go from our team and our organization. But at the same time it's a good opportunity for Mike."
Carlo Colaiacovo will replace him in the lineup; it will be the third time he's played in the Sabres' past 33 games.
The Ducks have won five straight games; since the December holiday break they're 19-4-2, the best record in the Western Conference.
"We saw Anaheim earlier in the year and we saw a team that wasn't doing well on the score sheet. But we saw a great team with good players and one that we thought, coming in, was playing great hockey," Bylsma said. "We see the same thing when we watch them play in scouting meetings. Now they're one of the hottest teams in the League right now and they're playing good hockey."
The Ducks don't believe they're doing much different than they were earlier in the season, but they have found offensive balance that was missing earlier in the season. They have scored at least five goals in four straight games.
"Maybe just confidence," Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. "Guys are hitting the net, guys are feeling more confident about their shots. The power play is working at a pretty good clip, which always helps. And when you get the lead the other team presses and you can take advantage of their mistakes."
For their part, the Sabres are hoping to eliminate mistakes in order to weather the Ducks' heavy forecheck.
"For us it's trying to control the play," Sabres forward Brian Gionta said. "And that's a lack of turnovers so they don't have a chance to get their speed going."
Buffalo goalie Robin Lehner will start and play in his 100th NHL game.
Anaheim goalie Frederik Andersen will attempt to earn his fourth straight win.
Here are the projected lineups:
Jamie McGinn - Jack Eichel - Zemgus Girgensons
Evander Kane - Sam Reinhart - Justin Bailey
Marcus Foligno - Johan Larsson - Brian Gionta
Nicolas Deslauriers - David Legwand - Matt Moulson
Josh Gorges - Rasmus Ristolainen
Jake McCabe - Zach Bogosian
Carlo Colaiacovo - Mark Pysyk
Injured: Tyler Ennis (upper body), Cody Franson (neck), Ryan O'Reilly (lower body)
Scratched: Cal O'Reilly
David Perron - Ryan Getzlaf - Mike Santorelli
Nick Ritchie - Rickard Rakell - Corey Perry
Andrew Cogliano - Ryan Kesler - Jakob Silfverberg
Patrick Maroon - Nate Thompson - Ryan Garbutt
Cam Fowler - Kevin Bieksa
Hampus Lindholm - Josh Manson
Simon Despres - Sami Vatanen
Injured: Chris Stewart (jaw)
Scratched: Clayton Stoner, Korbinian Holzer, Harry Zolnierczyk
Status report: Buffalo recalled Cal O'Reilly from Rochester of the American Hockey League on Monday and placed his younger brother Ryan O'Reilly on injured reserve. ... Bylsma said Franson is on the trip and is progressing in his recover. He will be re-evaluated Thursday.
Who's hot: McGinn has six goals in his past six games against the Ducks. ... Kane has seven points in 10 career against the Ducks. ... Eichel has one goal and five assists in the past seven games. ... Bieksa has goals in two straight games. Fowler, his defense partner, has six assists in his past five games. ... Getzlaf has four goals and nine assists during his eight-game point streak. He has at least a point in 17 of the past 19 games. ... Kesler has two goals and five assists during a five-game point streak.