Published November 20, 2014
Buffalo is coming off Wednesday's 5-3 home loss to New Jersey, marking the club's second setback in three games. The Sabres haven't dropped two in a row since losses to Florida and Philadelphia on Oct. 29 and Nov. 2, respectively.
Ryan Miller, Buffalo's No. 1 goaltender, has not been available in each of the club's last two games, as he's sidelined indefinitely after sustaining a concussion Saturday in a 6-2 loss at Boston. Miller suffered the head injury on a collision with Bruins forward Milan Lucic and the former Vezina Trophy winner is also suffering from whiplash.
Jhonas Enroth played well in his first start following the Miller injury, stopping 25-of-27 shots in Monday's 3-2 win over the Canadiens. However, the young Swede was torched for five goals on just 19 shots in Wednesday's loss to the Devils.
Enroth was pulled with a little over 10 minutes to play and Drew MacIntyre stopped the two shots he faced in relief.
"It was a bad game on my side and that's a shame because the guys played really good tonight," said Enroth. "I let in some bad goals and let the guys down. Rough night."
It was the first loss of the season for Enroth, who is 6-1-0 with an excellent .926 save percentage on the season. Despite the bad outing, Enroth is expected to get the call tonight over MacIntyre,
Tyler Myers scored twice on Wednesday after he was a healthy scratch for Monday's game against Montreal. The goals were the first two of the season for the third-year defenseman, who was the NHL's rookie of the year in 2009-10.
Jordan Leopold had the other goal for the Sabres, who had won five of six before the loss to Jersey.
Sabres forward Cody McCormick sat out Wednesday's game with an undisclosed injury and he is questionable for tonight's tilt.
Carolina. meanwhile, has been unable to get anything going lately, losing six of seven, seven of nine and 10 of its last 13 games. The Hurricanes recorded just their sixth win of the year Saturday against visiting Pittsburgh, but has since lost games to Philadelphia and Montreal.
After dropping a 5-3 decision to visiting Philly on Monday, the 'Canes were dealt a 4-0 setback Wednesday in Montreal. Carey Price stopped all 25 shots sent his way by Carolina in the easy win for the Habs.
Cam Ward surrendered all four goals on 36 shots for the Hurricanes, who are ahead of only the New York Islanders in the Eastern Conference standings.
"We didn't play. We got what we deserved," said Carolina captain Eric Staal. "There's no question there is concern in here. We have to get back to a winning formula at some point. If we keep losing we'll be out [of playoff contention] before you know it."
Staal is one of many Hurricanes who are struggling to produce in the early going. The centerman has recorded 70 or more points in each of the previous six seasons, but he has just four goals, four assists and a dreadful minus-18 rating through 19 games this season.
Carolina recorded a 4-3 win in Buffalo on Oct. 14, giving the Hurricanes three wins in the last four meetings of this series. The Sabres have three wins in their last five trips to Raleigh and three of those encounters went past regulation.
Buffalo is 6-2-0 on the road this season, while the Hurricanes are 4-4-1 as the host. Tonight's test marks the first of two straight on home ice for Carolina, which will also welcome Toronto on Sunday.