BUFFALO (LGS) — If the Buffalo Sabres hope to avoid a record-breaking nine game losing streak, they'll need to defeat a team they've had no success against this season.
And they'll need to do it with a less than full-strength roster.
Buffalo faces New Jersey tonight at 7 p.m. in a return home from a three-game road trip that saw two losses in a shootout, including one to the Devils.
Unable to get over the hump, Buffalo squandered great play by both Ryan Miller in New Jersey on Tuesday and by Jocelyn Thibault in Ottawa Thursday. Both contests featured Buffalo falling behind before coming back in the third period to force overtime.
In New Jersey, the hero was Jason Pominville. In Ottawa, Daniel Paille served up some sweet revenge, returning to the lineup after missing two games due to a hit he took when the two teams last met.
Paille and Clarke MacArthur each scored third period goals to negate Ottawa's pair of second frame tallies. It took six rounds of a shootout before the Sabres yielded their comeback to the Senators.
Now the team returns home to face the Devils, who are one of the hottest teams in the league. Derek Roy (shoulder), Tim Connolly (groin), Maxim Afinogenov (groin) and Jaroslav Spacek (back spasms) are either out or questionable for the game.
New Jersey has been a dominant force against Buffalo not only this season, but going back to the 01-02 season. Besides being 2-0 against the Sabres this year, New Jersey is 15-4 with three ties since that season.
Much of that success has come thanks to goaltender Martin Brodeur, who has dominated the Sabres his entire career. In 47 games against the Sabres, the All-Star goalie has a 25-14-0 record with five ties while posting 2.28 goals-against average and a .908 save-percentage.
Buffalo's next game is in New York Wednesday, as they take on Chris Drury and the Rangers for the first time this season.