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Preview: Avalanche at Sabres, Game 8

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The Avs (6-1-0) make their way to Buffalo tonight to take on the slumping Buffalo Sabres (1-7-1).

Doug Pensinger

Most of the websites around the NHL.com network are down this afternoon, so it's difficult to find some info for this one. Here's hoping they get it fixed in time to tune our Gamecenters Live in.

The Avalanche finally dropped a game on Thursday, while the Sabres finally won a game on Tuesday, a 4-3 shootout victory over the Islanders. Boy have the Sabres been brutal. "How brutal have they been?"

  • Their Fenwick For% is a league-worst 42% despite spending all this time trailing.
  • Their 5 on 5 shooting percentage is only slightly higher than milk, at 3.9%.
  • As you might expect, their goals/60 is also the league's worst, at 1.08.
  • "But I don't put any faith in those sorts of numbers." They've earned 3 points in 9 games.

The Sabres remain without Pat Kaleta tonight, who is currently feeling shame for a headshot on Jack Johnson. Likewise, the Avs will be without Cody McLeod, who is feeling shame for a bad hit into the boards on Niklas Kronwall, a massive blow to the team's TOILOI stat.

J.S. Giguere starts tonight per Patrick Roy's scheduled goalie rotation. His last appearance was a 39-save shutout of the Boston Bruins. Gabe Landeskog left the game against detroit late in the third after appearing to take a shot off the foot, but has been practicing and expects to be fine tonight.

Oh yeah, and old friend Joe Sacco is an assistant with Buffalo now. The last few years this would have been a classic Ex-Avs + Trap Game Curse and a sure dull, painful loss. Let's see whether Roy's Avs can dispel that trend.

Avalanche Lines (projected):

O'Reilly - Duchene SLAP FIGHT!!!! + Downie
Landeskog - Stastny - Tanguay
McGinn - MacKinnon - Parenteau
Cliche - Mitchell - Bordeleau

Johnson - Hejda
Wilson - Guenin
Benoit - Sarich

Giguere
Varlamov

Still no Barrie and still no Holden.

Bad Guys (projected):

The Sabres media seem to have no idea. American hero Ryan Miller is in net and old friend Cody McCormick is out after taking a puck off the foot himself. Here's what Die by the Blade projected though:

Vanek – Hodgson – Stafford
Ott – Ennis – Foligno
Girgensons – Larsson – Flynn
Porter – Grigorenko – Scott

Ehrhoff – Pysyk
Tallinder – Myers
Weber - Ristolainen

Miller

Sabres blog: Die By The Blade
TV: ALT, MSG-Buffalo || 7:00 Eastern || 5:00 MT || 23:00 GMT
(I think that's right. Like I said, sites are down.)