The Buffalo Sabres have scored only twice in their first three game and have been outshot 115-76 by the opposition this season. The goals have come from one young player – rookie Zemgus Girgensons – and one experienced goal scorer – co-captain Thomas Vanek.
They’ll look to generate more offensive chances and earn their first win of the season Tuesday night when they host the Tampa Bay Lightning at First Niagara Center at 7:30 p.m. The game can be seen nationally on NBCSN and heard locally on WGR 550.
“For us, we need more compete. We need more compete down low,” Sabres co-captain Steve Ott said after practice Tuesday morning. “Puck time in the zone is a big thing, getting over pucks and being strong on pucks in those 50-50 battles that need to be won. [When] you start winning a majority of those is when your shot totals miraculously start coming up in a hurry.”
Ott elaborated on the belief that more shots – and more goals – will come with hard work.
“It’s sticking with the process. We can’t be wishing for things out there and hopefully something goes in,” he said. “This all comes down to battle, to execution, to continue to push forward. You’ll find the goals. The goals will come with that continued work ethic.”
| Jhonas Enroth |
Jhonas Enroth was the first goaltender off the ice, so he’s expected to make his second start of the young season. Ryan Miller skated with the team and took extra work with the forwards afterward. Sabres coach Ron Rolston said that Miller is just about ready after missing one game due to a lower-body injury.
“How did he look? Probably not as good as he did early on, but he’s getting there I think,” Rolston said.
Cody Hodgson was also back on the ice after missing practice on Monday due to a lower-body injury. He skated with Thomas Vanek and Steve Ott during line rushes.
Marcus Foligno will make his season debut on a line with Tyler Ennis and Drew Stafford. Foligno hasn’t played since sustaining an upper-body injury in a preseason game on Sept. 22.
On defense, the pairings were shuffled a bit for the second day in a row. Mike Weber skated once again with Tyler Myers while Jamie McBain took reps with rookie Rasmus Ristolainen. The duo of Christian Ehrhoff and Mark Pysyk remained intact.
“We wanted a little bit more stability in some situations, especially against some of the higher end forwards in the League,” Rolston said.
26 Thomas Vanek – 19 Cody Hodgson – 9 Steve Ott
82 Marcus Foligno – 63 Tyler Ennis – 21 Drew Stafford
28 Zemgus Girgensons – 25 Mikhail Grigorenko – 65 Brian Flynn
32 John Scott – 12 Kevin Porter – 36 Patrick Kaleta
10 Christian Ehrhoff – 3 Mark Pysyk
6 Mike Weber – 57 Tyler Myers
4 Jamie McBain – 55 Rasmus Ristolainen
1 Jhonas Enroth
30 Ryan Miller
Scratched: 8 Cody McCormick, 22 Johan Larsson, 52 Alexander Sulzer
Injured: 20 Henrik Tallinder, 23 Ville Leino, 33 Joel Armia, 61 Nikita Zadorov, 78 Corey Tropp .