FLORIDA PANTHERS (3-3-1) @ BUFFALO SABRES (1-3-2)
GAME COVERAGE BEGINS AT 12:30 PM ON MSG WESTERN NEW YORK
THE BEGINNING OF A BACK-TO-BACK SET
Today’s contest will be the first of back-to-back games for the Sabres. Buffalo will head to Winnipeg Sunday after this afternoon’s contest with Florida. Anders Nilsson will get the start in today’s matinee and the expectation is that Robin Lehner will be in goal against the Jets.
The Sabres have been ravaged by injuries early on this season with the likes of Jack Eichel, Evander Kane and Lehner all spending time on the shelf. A win today will help cure some of their early-season woes and help them stop their slide in the standings.
The Panthers’ top defensive pair of Keith Yandle and Aaron Ekblad has been terrific through seven games this year. With the chance to make the last change at home, coach Dan Bylsma will attempt to keep his best offensive players away from Florida’s dynamic D-Men. More room to operate could be found against the Cats’ defensive pairings of Mark Pysyk-Alex Petrovic and Michael Matheson-Jason Demers.
Panthers center Jonathan Marchessault will be looking to add to his team-leading 10 points (five goals and five assists). Marchessault played a bit-part role for the Tampa Bay Lightning last season and tallied seven goals and 11 assists for 18 points in 45 games played.
SABRES VS. LUONGO
After winning his first two starts of the season, Roberto Luongo has lost two out of the last three games. The four-time All-Star did have success against the Sabres during the 2015-16 campaign, compiling a 3-1 record with a 2.52 goals against average and a .910 save percentage.