What to Watch For in Today’s Sabres-Jets Game

BY: DAVID KOLB | @DAVIDKOLBMSG

BUFFALO SABRES (2-3-2) @ WINNIPEG JETS (4-4-0)
GAME COVERAGE BEGINS AT 2:30 PM ON MSG WESTERN NEW YORK

WHATS AT STAKE?

The Sabres enter this afternoon’s contest hoping to sweep a back-to-back set following Saturday’s 3-0 shutout win over the Florida Panthers. A win in Winnipeg today would bring the Sabres back to .500 for the first time since the second game of the season.

POWER PLAY

The Sabres can find some real success this season if their ever-improving power play continues to produce. The Sabres found the back of the net twice with the extra man, as Kyle Okposo and Sam Reinhart tallied Buffalo’s second and third goals against Florida Saturday.

Sabres Reinhart Road Stock 101216

[Okposo – Win vs. Florida was the most complete game of the year]

TOP LINE LOCKDOWN

To defeat the Jets, the Sabres must focus on slowing down the Patrik Laine-Mark Scheifle-Blake Wheeler line. The trio has combined for 22 points in eight games.

HOLE IN THE LINEUP

Fourth-line right wing Nicolas Deslauriers left Saturday’s game after sustaining a hit. Coach Dan Bylsma said after the contest that Deslauriers was being checked by team doctors and could miss today’s game in Winnipeg.

YOUNG STAR ON D

Rasmus Ristolainen is quickly becoming one of the NHL’s top young blueliners. The 22-year-old uses his huge 6-foot-4 frame to full effect in the defensive zone and makes sharp outlet passes to go quickly from defense to offense. In seven games this season, the eighth pick overall in the 2013 NHL Draft is averaging an assist per game with seven assists.