Today’s music video is Howlby Florence And The Machine. Why? I like her. So will you!
A three game road trip comes to an end tonight in Buffalo as the Florida Panthers take on the Sabres for the second time in a week giving newly engaged Sabres Goaltender Ryan Miller a chance to achieve a personal milestone. Miller will be shooting for win number 200 in his career, and couple that with him winning eight of his last nine starts at the HSBC Arena, his chances are more than good. Miller picked up win 199 Tuesday night in a 5-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks as he made 21 saves in starting his 11th consecutive game.
Not too much has changed for the Sabres since the trouncing they took from the Panthers last Friday night. Tomas Vanek still leads in goals with 11, despite not having scored in his last four games. Derek Roy still leads in points with 26 and has nine in his last six games. The Sabres however will be trying to continue the home success with Miller in net and close out the Christmas break with a victory.
As for the Florida Panthers, this game has potential mess written all over it and here’s why.
* Last night’s loss to Pittsburgh could have sapped the emotion from the solid win in Philly.
* The Panthers are 8-20-3-2 all time in Buffalo, winning only 3 of the last 10.
* The Panthers are 1-5 in the second of back to back games this season.
* The last game of a three game road trip.
* The Christmas Holiday looming in the background. Many players are scheduled to scatter about to their families immediately following tonights game. Not returning until Sunday’s 3:00 P.M. practice.
On the other hand, adversity such as this can affect teams in positive ways as well. Turn the outlook of a few of those bullet points around, and add finishing up the road trip on a positive note alone could be enough to make the Panthers show up. Not that they didn’t show last night against the Penguins, but a strong finish and grabbing 4 of a possible 6 points on this trip could make anyone happy. Myself included. The veterans in the room are going to have to carry this team through this game and hopefully their demeanor will rub off on the kids.
Tomas Vokoun was pulled last night after giving up three goals on 14 shots in a performance that wasn’t all his fault as much as it was Pittsburgh coming out with all guns firing. I would expect that he’s back between the pipes tonight even thought Scott Clemmensen did a solid job in relief. If nothing else Vokoun needs the chance to erase last night’s game from his mind during the break.
Game time is at 7:00 P.M. , so get home early from your shopping. After tonight there is no hockey till Sunday. Yikes! Well at least we’ll have the World Junior Championships.
If you have yet to enter in our ticket giveaway contest, please do so. You still have time as the winner will be announced on Sunday.
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