NEW JERSEY DEVILS (6-3-3) @ BUFFALO SABRES (5-5-3)
FIRST OF THREE
Tonight the Devils faceoff against the Sabres in Buffalo, as the two clubs begin a back-to-back set that will conclude Saturday night in Newark. The Devils took last season’s season series, 2-1. Adam Henrique, Michael Cammalleri and Ryan O’Reilly led the series in scoring with two goals and two assists, for four points each.
MATCHUP TO WATCH
After gaining an assist against Carolina Tuesday, center, Travis Zajac has points (one goal, three assists) in four straight games. Zajac serves as the pivot on the Devils first line (along with P.A. Parenteau and Taylor Hall) and tonight will matchup across from Sabres’ top defenseman, Rasmus Ristolainen, who skated an incredible 29:57 in Wednesday’s loss to Ottawa.
KANE IN, ENNIS OUT
After waiting for over a month for Evander Kane’s to return to the ice, the Sabres announced Thursday that center Tyler Ennis is expected to miss several weeks after undergoing groin surgery. Cole Schneider will play once again tonight after he was called up from the Rochester Americans (AHL) and tallied his first career point on an assist on Nicholas Baptiste’s goal 2:49 into the Wednesday’s loss to the Ottawa Senators.
Parenteau hopes to stay hot tonight, after scoring his fifth goal of the season Tuesday versus Carolina, giving him two goals in the past four games, and a share of the Devils’ goal lead (Taylor Hall). Parenteau also scored the game-winner in the shootout, and is now 20-43 (46.5%) in his career in the shootout.
MORE SABRES’ INJURIES
Sabres center, Ryan O’Reilly and defenseman Dmitry Kulikov missed practice Wednesday and are questionable for tonight’s game against the Devils. O’Reilly offensive skills were sorely missed Wednesday, as the Sabres were only able to get one puck by Ottawa goalie, Mike Condon.