The Buffalo Sabres are dealing with a plethora of injuries,
contributing to their current losing streak.
Facing the Edmonton Oilers may help ease the pain.
Buffalo seeks its sixth straight win over Edmonton when the
teams meet Tuesday night at First Niagara Center.
The Sabres (17-17-4) have lost three consecutive games and six
of their last seven after falling 3-2 to Ottawa in a shootout on
Saturday, scoring fewer than three goals for the fifth time in six
Buffalo played without five regular contributors including
defenseman Christian Ehrhoff, who suffered an upper-body injury in
Friday’s 3-1 loss at Washington. Making matters worse, Brad Boyes –
who scored in Saturday’s loss – and Jason Pominville left Monday’s
Though Tyler Myers and Tyler Ennis are close to returning, the
Sabres are struggling without their regular lineup.
“We just have to keep grinding it out,” Ruff said. “We did some
good things. We’re just not converting. It’s something we’re going
to have to work on.”
Ruff said he expects Pominville to play through an illness,
while Boyes’ injury may keep him from playing Tuesday after he fell
against the boards during a drill.
“Boyes just tweaked his ankle for a second and it’s one of those
where it could just be a stinger but we’ll have to wait and see,”
Ruff told the team’s official website.
It may not matter who the Sabres have on the ice Tuesday given
their recent success against the Oilers. Buffalo has outscored
Edmonton 22-7 during its five-game winning streak in the
Ryan Miller, who got the night off Saturday, should be back in
net for the Sabres. He’s started each game during Buffalo’s winning
streak over Edmonton, posting a 1.40 goals-against average in those
He’ll face an Oilers team that ended a seven-game road losing
streak with a 4-3 win over Chicago on Monday, though the price may
have been losing two key players.
Defenseman Tom Gilbert took a hard hit into the boards in the
second period and came down awkwardly, leaving his status up in the
air for Tuesday.
Also uncertain to play is rookie sensation Ryan Nugent-Hopkins,
who suffered a lower-body injury after playing less than four
minutes in the first period. The No. 1 overall draft pick leads all
rookies with 13 goals and 22 assists.
Edmonton (16-19-3) was able to hold on for the victory Monday to
end a three-game skid, but is still only 4-11-1 in its last 16
Andy Sutton scored, Taylor Hall had a goal and an assist and
Jordan Eberle added two assists for the Oilers, who scored at least
four goals for only the second time in their last nine
“That’s the way we played at the start of the year,” said
Sutton, speaking of Edmonton’s 8-2-2 start. “I don’t know what’s so
complicated about playing that way. Just don’t turn the puck over.
We were tenacious on the puck and the results speak for
Devan Dubnyk made 39 saves in his second straight start in place
of the struggling Nikolai Khabibulin (2-6-1 with a 2.90 GAA in his
last nine starts). It’s unclear who will be in net Tuesday, but
Khabibulin has lost his last four starts against Buffalo.