Sabres-Jets Preview

Ryan Miller may be providing a spark for the NHL-worst Buffalo

Sabres at home, but he’s not expected to get a chance to carry that

success onto the road.

With Jhonas Enroth scheduled to spell Miller, the Sabres will

try to win on the road for the first time in almost two months

Tuesday night against the Winnipeg Jets.

Miller is 5-1-1 with a 1.65 goals-against average over his last

seven games, and all of those victories have come at home behind a

1.34 GAA and .962 save percentage.

The 2010 Vezina Trophy winner was fantastic again Sunday, making

a season-high 49 saves before turning aside all six shootout

attempts in a 2-1 win over Washington. That’s expected to be

Miller’s final performance before the United States roster for the

Olympics is revealed Wednesday.

“You have to project further out and we need Jhonas to be

ready,” Miller told the team’s official website of his scheduled

day off. “And it’s an Olympic year. We’re factoring in the

possibility of more travel and playing time for maybe both of us.

The idea is to balance it out a little more.”

Enroth, a likely selection for Sweden at Sochi, hasn’t been

nearly as effective as his teammate. He’s 0-5-2 with a 2.87 GAA in

eight games – seven starts – since making 44 saves in a 3-1 win at

Florida on Oct. 25.

Interim coach Ted Nolan, though, isn’t putting much blame on


“If you look at the goaltending we have, we have pretty good

goaltending,” he said. “So if we play honestly in front of them,

we’ll have good chances (to win).”

Buffalo hasn’t done that on the road since beating San Jose 5-4

in a shootout on Nov. 5. Since then, the Sabres have been outscored

30-12 during a nine-game skid (0-7-2) away from home.

Visiting Winnipeg (18-18-5) may not end their troubles,


The Sabres have lost four in a row on the road to the Jets,

including all three meetings in Winnipeg after they relocated from

Atlanta. However, Buffalo rallied with four unanswered goals to

beat the Jets 4-2 at home Dec. 17.

Enroth has a 2.00 GAA while losing both of his meetings, but

this will be his first appearance at MTS Centre.

The Jets are aiming for a three-game winning streak and some


Blake Wheeler came up with the heroics Sunday, scoring with 1.1

seconds left in overtime for a 2-1 win at Colorado. That came two

days after Winnipeg beat Minnesota 6-4 following a 2-5-1 stretch

that included the defeat at Buffalo.

“I think we’ve definitely learned from the past that we’re going

to treat every game as if we’re going to play the best team in the

league,” left wing Eric Tangradi said. “We know that if we don’t

play our best game, we’re not going to win hockey games in this


“We have to play a full 60 minutes.”

Another big performance from Wheeler would also help.

The right wing’s 10 goals are among the league leaders for this

month, and he’s scored seven of them in four straight games at

home. A goal Tuesday would make him the first Jets/Thrashers player

to score in five straight home games since Slava Kozlov did it with

Atlanta from March 16-April 1, 2009.

Wheeler has one goal in each of his last two home meetings with

the Sabres, but came up empty on two shots at Buffalo earlier this