With top goal-scoring threat Thomas Vanek expected to miss the next month, the Buffalo Sabres will look to Derek Roy to help carry the offense.
The struggling Carolina Hurricanes are in no hurry to see him.
Roy looks to extend a 12-game point streak against Carolina on Sunday night when the Sabres go for their sixth straight home victory over the Hurricanes.
Roy had a goal and assist in regulation and scored the deciding shootout tally in the Sabres' 6-5 win over Western Conference-leading San Jose on Friday, one night after a plane crash in suburban Buffalo killed 50.
"It felt good to get some points against one of the best teams in the league," said Ryan Miller, who stopped 30 shots through overtime to avoid losing his third straight start. "It was big for us. It's not going to be a fairy-tale every night."
After his 12th multi-point game this season, Roy has a team-best 32 assists and is tied with Vanek for the club lead with 52 points.
With Vanek, who has 32 goals, out due to a broken jaw, having Roy remain hot is a priority for the Sabres (29-21-6) - they're tied with Florida for seventh in the Eastern Conference.
Vanek's absence against the Sharks didn't hurt, however. Buffalo got goals from five players, including Jason Pominville, who snapped a 17-game goal drought to force overtime with four seconds left.
Looking for its fourth win in six games overall, the Sabres will look to continue their dominance at HSBC Arena against the Hurricanes (27-24-5). Starting with a 5-4 victory in October 2006, Buffalo has outscored Carolina 27-8 during the five-game run, including a 3-1 triumph on Jan. 17.
Roy drew an assist in that contest, giving him six goals and 13 assists during his streak. Buffalo has gone 8-2-2 during Roy's scoring run.
Carolina's struggles in Buffalo aren't a good sign, however, as it tries to rebound after being outscored 10-1 in back-to-back home losses.
Following a 5-0 loss to Florida on Thursday, the Hurricanes fell 5-1 to Columbus on Saturday. Dennis Seidenberg, activated from the injured list before the game, scored in the third period for Carolina.
"We're not doing enough to score goals," Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice said. "When you're playing catchup all the time, it's very, very difficult."
It's also affecting Carolina's hopes of reaching the postseason. With 59 points, the 'Canes are tied with Pittsburgh for ninth in the East.
Carolina hasn't played away from home since beating Phoenix 7-2 on Feb. 7, and will be looking for its first three-game road winning streak of the season. The Hurricanes are 13-12-4 on the road.
"In some ways, there's less pressure," Maurice said of playing on the road. "They're not here to put a show on. They're here to grind you. They're not interested in playing an exciting game, just an effective one."
Cam Ward has posted 5.37 GAA in his last two starts, but is 0-3-0 with a 5.53 GAA in three career road games against the Sabres. Backup Michael Leighton has never played in Buffalo.