(WGR 550) – Things aren't going to get any easier on Saturday for a slumping Buffalo Sabres team, as they travel to Carolina to meet the Hurricanes.
The Canes are 10-0-0 in their last 10 games against the Sabres, and are eighth in NHL points percentage at .705.
Now, if you flip that coin, maybe the Sabres are catching Carolina at the right time, because they’ve lost three in a row and five-of-six games. Goal scoring has been Carolina’s problem in those games, netting just two or less in five of those games.
Andrei Svechnikov got off to a blazing hot start, scoring seven goals in his first seven games. Since then he has two goals in 15 games.
Former Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Fredrik Andersen won his first eight games in the crease for Carolina, but now he’s lost three in a row and four out of six. Andersen’s numbers are still stellar at 11-5-0 with a 2.05 goals-against average and a .928 save percentage.
Sebastian Aho is Carolina’s leading scorer with 22 points in 22 games.
Buffalo is coming off a game in Florida where they had a 4-1 lead at the 11:16 mark of the second period and lost to the Panthers 7-4. Buffalo has won three of 16 games, and frequently blows leads by giving up goals in bunches.
With Dustin Tokarski in COVID-19 protocols, there's a good chance that newly acquired goalie Malcolm Subban will make his Sabres debut on Saturday. His last game in the NHL was for the Chicago Blackhawks back on May 3 when he lost in this same building giving up four goals to the Hurricanes. Subban only played 29:44 in that game and faced 18 shots.
Goal scoring hasn’t been a problem for Buffalo as they have 14 goals in their last four games. That produced just one win as they gave up 18.
Kyle Okposo has points in five straight games scoring two goals and four assists for six points.
Dylan Cozens is on a three-game goal scoring streak and has goals in four of his last six games.
With Craig Anderson out long-term, Buffalo’s goals against average of 3.65 is second-worst in the NHL. Carolina is third-best with a 2.27 goals-against average. The Hurricanes also give up the fewest shots in the league.
Join Brian Koziol and myself for pregame coverage on WGR starting at 6:30 p.m. EST when we’ll be joined by head coach Don Granato.