Preview: Buffalo at Colorado

When: 10:00 PM  ET, Saturday, February 25, 2017
Where: Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado
Matchup Edge
BUF Edge in: COL
Offense
Defense
Power Play
Penalty Kill
Face Offs
Discipline
Goaltending


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.

OVERTIME

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

Team Comparison

W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div
Buffalo 26-24-5-5 L1 15-11-2-2 11-13-3-3 6-3-0-0 20-21-5-5 9-10-0-3
Colorado 16-40-2-1 L3 7-20-1-1 9-20-1-0 2-4-0-0 14-36-2-1 6-14-0-0

Last Meeting

Buffalo Colorado
Date Away Home Shots Saves PP Shots Saves PP
2/16/17 COL 0 BUF 2 32 23 1-3 23 30 0-0

Player Stats

Previous Matchup
Total Points Player  
BUF J. Eichel 1
COL J. Anderson 0
Goals Player  
BUF E. Kane 1
COL J. Anderson 0
Assists Player  
BUF J. Eichel 1
COL J. Anderson 0
Saves Player  
BUF R. Lehner 23
COL C. Pickard 30
Season
Total Points Player  
BUF K. Okposo 39
COL N. MacKinnon 39
Goals Player  
BUF E. Kane 21
COL M. Duchene 16
Assists Player  
BUF R. Ristolainen 32
COL N. MacKinnon 27
Saves Player  
BUF R. Lehner 1277
COL C. Pickard 896

Quickchart Matchup

Buffalo Off vs  Colorado Def
2.43 GF
3.31 GA
29.5 Shots
32.3 Shots
41 PP
45 PK
Colorado Off vs  Buffalo Def
1.97 GF
2.72 GA
28.2 Shots
34.2 Shots
25 PP
44 PK

Matchup Stats - Full Matchup

Buffalo Overall Colorado
26-24-5-5 W/L 16-40-2-1
38-22 ATS 26-33
25-29 O/U 23-26
2.43 Goals For 1.97
2.72 Goals Agnst 3.31
Buffalo A/H Colorado
11-13-3-3 W/L 7-20-1-1
21-9 ATS 11-18
15-12 O/U 12-11
2.50 Goals For 2.14
2.97 Goals Agnst 3.34