Dating back to their 6-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Nov. 15, the Buffalo Sabres are 5-1 in their past six games at First Niagara Center.
They’ll go for four wins in a row on home ice when they host the Calgary Flames on Thursday at 7 p.m. The Tops Gamenight pregame show begins at 6:30 p.m. on MSG-B and Bell TV. The game can also be heard live on WGR 550.
The second of a four-game homestand, the Sabres are coming off a 1-0 victory Tuesday over the Los Angeles Kings. The Sabres are 7-3-0 in their past 10 games.
“It’s just taking one game after another and we just kept winning,” Nicolas Deslauriers said after an optional morning skate. “I know we had a tough trip in Tampa and Florida, but we bounced back here [on Tuesday] and it’s just been awesome.”
Forward Zemgus Girgensons thinks that the team’s recent success has a lot to do with a strong chemistry that’s built up both on the ice and in the dressing room.
“It’s us knowing each other a little bit more in the locker room. Before, coming into the season, we didn’t know each other that well,” he said. “It’s just about knowing each other as a group, sticking together and working for each other.”
Jhonas Enroth will start in net and will play in his 100th NHL game. He will become the 13th goaltender to play 100 games for the Sabres.
Enroth has been solid in net for the Sabres. In his last eight games, he’s 6-2-0 with a .946 save percentage and a 1.79 goals-against average.
He was in net to earn the shut out over the Kings and according to Elias Sports Bureau, he’s the first goaltender in NHL history to record his first four career shutouts in 1-0 wins.
In his career against Calgary, Enroth is 1-0-1 with a 1.49 goals-against average and a .946 save percentage.
Even with their latest win, Sabres coach Ted Nolan will make some changes to the lineup. Chris Stewart, a healthy scratch against L.A., will be back in and Cody Hodgson will sit. Hodgson has one goal and two assists in 28 games this season.
“Sometimes you overwork too and you over-think. Cody’s a real good player,” Nolan said. “He’s got some really good hands and he can score some goals, but unfortunately they’re not happening right now. So sometimes it’s good to sit back and look at it from a different perspective. … Maybe a game watching will get him out of that funk.”
With Hodgson out, Marcus Foligno will move to center and Drew Stafford will slide over to left wing on a line with Stewart.
The rest of the lineup will remain intact.
26 Matt Moulson – 28 Zemgus Girgensons – 63 Tyler Ennis
65 Brian Flynn – 17 Torrey Mitchell – 12 Brian Gionta
21 Drew Stafford – 82 Marcus Foligno – 80 Chris Stewart
44 Nicolas Deslauriers – 8 Cody McCormick – 36 Patrick Kaleta
4 Josh Gorges – 57 Tyler Myers
51 Nikita Zadorov – 55 Rasmus Ristolainen
6 Mike Weber – 61 Andre Benoit
1 Jhonas Enroth
34 Michal Neuvirth
Scratched: 19 Cody Hodgson, 41 Andrej Meszaros
Injured: 24 Tyson Strachan (lower body)
Injured Reserve: 31 Matt Hackett (knee)