GAME PREVIEW – Sabres @ Blue Jackets (Friday, November 25, 2011)

By johnmiller

On Friday night, the Buffalo Sabres (12-8-1) travel to Columbus face the Blue Jackets (5-13-3). Buffalo needs to rebound from a tough overtime loss to the Boston Bruins in Buffalo on Wednesday night. The Sabres are currently 7-2-0 on the road, which is the best road record in the NHL.

For the Sabres, Jochen Hecht, Tyler Ennis, Mike Weber, Tyler Myers and Ryan Miller are all out indefinitely. Cody McCormick and Brad Boyes day-to-day for Buffalo.

Jhonas Enroth is expected to start in goal again for the Sabres. Curtis Sanford is expected to draw the start between the pipes for the Blue Jackets.

It seems like the Sabres have played mostly from behind recently, usually 2-0 in the first period. The Sabres managed to flip that around on Wednesday and take an early 2-0 lead for themselves. That didn’t turn out so good either. But being on the road is almost a comforting feeling at this point.

The Sabres have been very consistent this season in what they do well. They have excellent special teams, they’ve gotten good goaltending and Jason Pominville and Thomas Vanek are on pace for career seasons. But that’s where the consistent contributions end.

As the injuries pile up, the Sabres are still waiting for other players to get in on the act. Big free agent acquisition Ville Leino never shows up in the box score. Derek Roy has shown flashes, but mostly when he was on a line with Vanek and Pominville.

Somebody has to step up for the Sabres. Both on the ice and in the locker room. Buffalo has failed to play complete games recently, choosing either to start fast or finish strong, but never both. Columbus is a below-average NHL team and this is one of those games that the Sabres are supposed to win if they want to be an elite team, injuries or no injuries.

Despite the injuries and being on the road, the Sabres are the clear favorite in the game at (-135).

Date: Friday, November 25, 2011
Time: 7:00 ET
Location: Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio

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