Buffalo at Colorado
When: 10:00 PM
ET, Saturday, February 25, 2017
Where: Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado
The Buffalo Sabres will be hoping that the combination of a lopsided defeat and their bye week will not halt some much-needed momentum as they prepare to visit the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday night. Buffalo's three-game winning streak came to a screeching halt with a 5-1 drubbing at home by the Chicago Blackhawks in the last game before the bye.
It's not often that there's an inopportune time to play Colorado, which owns a league-low 35 points, but NHL teams are a mere 4-20-4 in the first game coming out of a bye. Buffalo has won the last two meetings versus the Avalanche, including a 2-0 victory on Feb. 16, following a string of 10 consecutive losses to Colorado. The Avalanche have been limited to two goals or fewer in each game during their current 1-7-1 slide and gave up the final three tallies in a 4-2 loss at Nashville on Thursday. "It's not good enough this time of year to just put together 40 minutes," captain Gabriel Landeskog after his team absorbed its 40th defeat.
TV: 10 p.m. ET, MSG-B (Buffalo), Altitude (Colorado)
ABOUT THE SABRES (26-24-10): Robin Lehner made 23 saves against Colorado on Feb. 16 to notch his second shutout of the season, a game in which forward Ryan O'Reilly set up the first goal for his fourth assist in three games against his former teammates. Buffalo will have some reinforcements up front as forward Sam Reinhart, the team's third-leading scorer, returns to the lineup after missing two games prior to the bye. Forward Zemgus Girgensons, sidelined the past seven games, also will play.
ABOUT THE AVALANCHE (16-40-3): Defenseman Erik Johnson will make his return to the lineup Saturday after missing nearly three months with a broken fibula sustained on Dec. 3. “I wish we were in a different situation right now, but every time you put on the Avalanche jersey, you have to have a big sense of pride," Johnson said. "Any time you step on the ice in the NHL, it means something.” Calvin Pickard takes a 1-1-0 record and 1.40 goals-against average versus Buffalo into Saturday's start.
1. The Sabres haven't won at Colorado since 2005, losing their last five visits.
2. Avalanche F Jarome Iginla is six goals shy of tying team GM Joe Sakic (625) for 15th place on the all-time list.
3. Buffalo recalled Fs Justin Bailey and Evan Rodrigues from Rochester of the American Hockey League and demoted F Derek Grant.
PREDICTION: Sabres 4, Avalanche 3
Stats and Records