National Hockey League
Sabres-Jets Preview
National Hockey League

Sabres-Jets Preview

Updated Mar. 4, 2020 10:14 p.m. ET

There will not be any track suits in the MTS Centre Sunday afternoon.

Buffalo Sabres left winger Evander Kane, who courted controversy during his 3 1/2 years in Winnipeg -- and hasn't changed much since arriving in Buffalo late in the 2014-15 season -- won't be in the lineup when the Sabres play the Jets in Winnipeg on Sunday afternoon.

He is still recovering from cracked ribs suffered in the Sabres' home opener.

The Vancouver native finally wore out his welcome in the Jets' dressing room after he arrived at a team meeting wearing a track suit, breaking the team's dress code. Defenseman Dustin Byfuglien famously tossed the track suit in a cold tub and shortly afterward Kane found himself packaged up with defenseman Zach Bogosian and sent to Buffalo in exchange for Drew Stafford, Tyler Myers and Joel Armia.


When Kane returned to the MTS Centre last season, thousands of fans showed their approval. Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff regularly receives accolades for having pulled off what Jets fans believe to be one of the most one-sided trades by wearing track suits to the game.

The Sabres will be playing their second afternoon contest in as many days, having defeated the Florida Panthers 3-0 on Saturday at the First Niagara Center for their first victory of the season. The opening face-off in Winnipeg is scheduled for 2 p.m. CST.

Sabres center Johan Larsson told the Buffalo News that his team was relieved to finally get in the win column after snatching defeat from the jaws of victory several times this season.

"It was great to get a win here, get confidence in the group. We played really well and deserved the win," he said.

The Jets return home after a quick one-game road trip to Colorado Friday evening when they defeated the Avalanche 1-0, which came on the heels of a 4-1 win over the Dallas Stars on Thursday.

Byfuglien will be in the lineup on Sunday after briefly leaving Friday's contest with an undetermined injury after allegedly being slew-footed by the Stars' Antoine Roussel in the third period. He missed about seven minutes of action.

Jets coach Paul Maurice left no doubt about his opinion when he was asked if his big defenseman was the victim of a slew foot.

"Yes," Maurice said matter-of-factly to the Winnipeg Free Press. "It's a fast play so it's not as easy to pick up on the ice as you might think. You don't see it that much."

The Jets come into Sunday with a 4-4-0-0 record for eight points, which puts them in fourth place in the Central division. The Sabres are tied for last in the league with four points and a record of 1-3-1-1.

Some further optimism is creeping into the Sabres' dressing room as sophomore center Jack Eichel is no longer wearing a walking boot to treat his high-ankle sprain. He is two weeks into rehab for an injury that was expected to keep him out for two months.


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