Las Vegas–Heading into their 6th matchup of the season, the Vegas Golden Knights welcome into town the Buffalo Sabres for the first of two scheduled meetings of the 2017-18 campaign.
The Sabres organization may not be an original six franchise like the Detroit Red Wings or Boston Bruins that they have played against in their last two games, nevertheless, Buffalo has some hockey history of its own that they have written over the years.
For Buffalo, they have made three Stanley Cup Finals appearances in their 47-year history (1974-75, 1979-80, and 1998-98) all those resulted in losses.
Probably one of their biggest stories over the course of their existence is the so-called “The French Connection” in Rene Robert, Gilbert Perrault, and Richard Martin.
Those three players have had their numbers retired by the organization along with Tim Horton, Dany Gare, Pat LaFontaine.
In recent years they retired “The Dominator” Dominik Hasek to hang alongside his Sabres brethren.
Last season the Sabres finished the 2016-17 campaign with 33-37-12 for 78 points to their credit and missing the Stanley Cup Playoffs entirely for the sixth consecutive year.
For the Sabres, they are currently looking to bounce back this season with new bench boss Phil Housley running the coaching staff.
However, the early results for the Sabres organization are not good at the moment, they are currently dead last in the Atlantic Division with a 1-4-1 record for 3 points.
Their only of the season came on October 15 vs Anaheim where defeated the Ducks by a 3-1 final.
Leading the Sabres in goals are Jason Pominville and Evander Kane who each have 4 on the season.
For Pominville, this is 1st season back with the Sabres since the 2012-13 campaign where he played with the likes of Thomas Vanek, Drew Stafford, Jochen Hecht, Ryan Miller, Mikhail Grigorenko, and Ville Leino.
20-year-old sensation and former 2nd overall of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft Jack Eichel is currently leading the Sabres in assists with 5 and is in a 3-way tie in points at 7 with Pominville and Kane.
Vegas has to be aware of Eichel’s speed and skill set, if they want, have success in shutting him down.
The problem for their not so good start has been in net with goaltenders Robin Lehner and Chad Johson. In 4 recorded starts, Lehner has a 3.14 GAA and .900 save percentage, while Johnson with 2 starts to his credit has earned himself a GAA of 3.66 and a save percentage of .875.
For the Golden Knights, this is a weakness that they will need to exploit in order to come away with a “W”
They are recently coming off of a bounce-back win themselves having defeated the original six Boston Bruins by a final score of 3-1.
In that game in a was series of first for three members of the team where forwards Alex Tuch, Vadim Shipachyov, and backup goaltender Malcolm Subban.
For Tuch and Shipachyov they scored their 1st NHL career goals while Subban finally after two previous starts between the pipes recorded his 1st NHL career win.
James Neal‘s whose impressive goal-scoring streak was snapped in the game vs Boston is still the current leader on the team with 6. In second place with 2 goals on the season is Oscar Lindberg.
In the assists column, there is currently a three-way tie at 3 with forwards David Perron and Brendan Leipsic, along with defenseman Luca Sbisa.
Their workhorse in net is veteran goaltender Marc-André Fleury who has a 3-1-0 record with 2.48 GAA and a .925 save percentage. His worst outing was against the Detroit Red Wings where he gave up 6.
What is unfortunate for the Golden Knights is that they will be without the services of Fleury for the 2nd consecutive game as he is currently on IR recovering from a concussion injury that he suffered on Friday vs. Detroit.
Red Wings forward Anthony Mantha collided his knee with Fleury’s head in the 2nd period of their 6-3 loss to Detroit.
So for Vegas, the likely starter in net could be Subban (we will keep you posted on social media if Subban is the confirmed starter).
Also being absent for the 2nd time in today’s tilt against Buffalo are forwards Erik Haula and Jonathan Marchessault who both suffered lower body injuries from the Detroit Red Wings game and will miss the rest of week.
Taking their place in their continued absence are forwards Tuch and Shipachyov.
Can the Golden Knights start up a new winning streak tonight vs. Buffalo we will have to find out and see?
Official Broadcast Schedule
Tonight’s puck drop is at 7:00 pm PT. Las Vegas
Television: The matchup will on AT&T SportsNet. This is DIRECTV channel 684, U-verse channels 757 (SD) and 1757 (HD), Cox Cable channels 313 (SD) and 1313 (HD), and CenturyLink channels 760 (SD) and 1760 (HD).
Radio: The radio broadcast is on FOX Sports Radio 98.9 FM/1340 AM.