Buffalo, N.Y. (WGR 550) – As the Buffalo Sabres prepare for Wednesday’s nationally televised game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, names like Craig Anderson, Mark Pysyk and Vinnie Hinostroza are still with the club.
General manager Kevyn Adams said on Monday he felt there was value in keeping those players instead of letting them go for low round picks. Hinostroza falls into that category, because Adams wants him as part of the future and wants him to continue to bond with this group of players.
In 43 games this season, the winger has 10 goals, which would give him 19 in an 82-game season
“I want to be here," Hinostroza said following Wednesday's morning skate. "They took a chance on me, and I’ve loved it here so far. I’d be super interested [in re-signing], and this is the place that I want to be. I want to be somewhere that I love, and I love it here.”
Hinostroza is a leader on this team, and says he takes pride in that.
“I’m an older guy - not one of the main leaders on the team, but a secondary leader where I’ve been through so much adversity in my career," Hinostroza said. "Whenever one of these young guys is going through something, I can talk to them and tell them, 'OK, you’ve missed a couple of shifts here. It’s not the end of the world.' I mean, I’ve sat out 10, 15 games in a row, so you’re always going to have adversity in your career.”
Hinostroza has been playing on a line with Dylan Cozens and Peyton Krebs for a while now. Both players are 21-years-old, and both were former first round picks in the 2019 NHL Draft.
Even at 27, Hinostroza loves what he sees from the kids on this team.
“I think they can be superstars," he said. "It’s their decision if they want to be superstars, and I know they both want to. It’s all going to be about hard work, and dedication and commitment to perfecting their craft. I mean, 'Cozie’s' only 21-years-old and he’s played 100 games, and look where he’s at. Give him another 100 and he’s 22 or 23. These guys have nothing but bright futures.”
Buffalo has won four out of its last five games, and six out of nine.
This season against Pittsburgh, they’ve taken three out of four points in Pittsburgh. However, in the two games combined, the Sabres surrendered 94 shots on goal. Dustin Tokarski and Malcolm Subban played those two games on the road.
Craig Anderson gets the call on Wednesday night. He’s won three of his last four games, giving up just five goals in the three wins. Anderson is 11-9-0 this season with a 3.06 goals-against average and a .904 save percentage.
Pittsburgh comes to town with a road record of 21-7-4, which is best in the NHL.
“They’ve been really good on the road, but we like where our game’s at right now, minus that Edmonton game," he said. "But we’ve put together some good games, so we’re just focused on ourselves and coming out and getting that good start.”
The Penguins hosted the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday night and won, 5-1. Pittsburgh has won three-in-a-row and five out of six games. Their .680 points percentage is fourth in the league, and second in the Metropolitan Division.
Jake Guentzel has 31 goals, which is 12th in the NHL. Kris Letang’s 46 assists is also 12th.
The Pens are third in team defense, allowing 2.55 goals per-game. Casey DeSmith will be in net for Pittsburgh, as he's 6-4-3 this year with a 2.99 goals-against average and a .904 save percentage.
Since coming back from injury, Evgeni Malkin has 26 points in 28 games. Sidney Crosby has 64 points in 52 games.
Join Schopp and the Bulldog for pregame coverage on WGR starting at 6:30 p.m. ET when you’ll hear from head coach Don Granato, Hinostroza and Anderson.