(SportsNetwork.com) – The Buffalo Sabres have a chance to post their longest
winning streak since 2012 on Wednesday night as they play host to the Winnipeg
The Sabres have picked up half of their six victories this season over a
recent stretch, earning a third straight win with Saturday’s 2-1 decision over
the Washington Capitals. It marked Buffalo’s first game since the previous
Tuesday as their scheduled home contest versus the New York Rangers on Friday
was postponed due to heavy snow in the area.
While the offense failed to match the 10 goals scored over the first two games
of the winning streak, the Sabres got 43 saves by Jhonas Enroth to win three
straight for the first time since Feb. 25-25. They haven’t won four in a row
since a five-game streak from March 19-27, 2012.
“We’re playing like a confident team right now, and confident teams get
breaks, and those lead to wins,” said Enroth.
Torrey Mitchell and Matt Moulson had the goals for the Sabres, who lost
forward Cody McCormick to injury in the game. He is expected to miss time
while he undergoes concussion protocols.
Enroth got the start on Saturday after netminder Michal Neuvirth suffered a
lower-body injury during a win over San Jose on Nov. 18. He did return to
practice earlier this week and is expected to serve as the backup tonight to
Enroth, who is 0-2-1 in his career versus the Jets despite a solid 2.01 goals
against average and .943 save percentage.
Ondrej Pavelec will start tonight’s game for the Jets looking to win for the
first time since Nov. 8. He has lost four straight decisions since and is just
7-8-2 with a 2.30 GAA and .917 save percentage in 19 games (18 starts) this
Pavelec is 6-3-2 in his career against the Sabres, logging a 2.39 GAA and .923
save percentage in 11 games.
Winnipeg snapped a two-game slide and won for only the third time in eight
games with last night’s 4-2 decision over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Backup
Michael Hutchinson made 32 saves, moving to 4-1-1 on the season with a 1.50
GAA and .947 save percentage.
“You’re always hoping to get more starts, but the most important thing right
now is the team winning,” Hutchinson said. “I’m feeling really good about
where my game is right now. I’m reading the plays really good right now.”
Evander Kane scored a pair of power-play goals, one into an empty-net, while
Andrew Ladd potted the game-winner just 31 seconds after Kane’s first goal of
the game. Bryan Little gave the Jets an early lead after scoring just nine
seconds into the game.
Both forward Mathieu Perreault (upper body) and defenseman Tobias Enstrom
(lower body) are doubtful for tonight. Perreault was hurt in last night’s game
versus the Blue Jackets.
The Jets have won seven of their last eight games against the Sabres, who did
snap a three-game series home losing streak with a 4-2 win last December.