The Buffalo Sabres fell to the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-0 when the two teams met in Florida on Saturday, and will be looking to exact some revenge at home on Tuesday night as they take on their Eastern Conference foes in back-to-back games. Buffalo were not at anywhere near their best in that game, while Lightning goalie Mathieu Garon was superb. He's expected to earn yet another start in net on Tuesday night over veteran Dwayne Roloson, due to his excellent form.
Thomas Vanek and Jason Pominville have been clicking for the Sabres, but they're still waiting to get the best out of major free agent acquisitions Ville Leino and Christian Ehrhoff. Leino has just two points on the season, while Ehrhoff is currently a minus-four. Everyone on the Sabres is going to need to step up their production in the short term, as left winger Tyler Ennis has recently gone down with an ankle injury and could be out a couple of weeks.
Things are going well production-wise on an individual basis for Tampa, but there's no real standout performer and the team obviously has some issues that need fixing. They already have two overtime losses, while their special teams - both power play and penalty kill - have been less effective than they should be based on their personnel.
Buffalo have been very good at home against Tampa in recent years and are favored to win because of that record, among other factors, but Saturday's game could be an indicator that Tampa presents some matchup problems for this Buffalo team.
Game Date/Time: Tuesday, October 25, 7:30 P.M. ET
Venue: First Niagara Center, Buffalo, New York
TV: Versus (USA - National), TSN2 (Canada - National)
Odds: Lightning +160 to win, Sabres -180 to win, Sabres favored by 1 1/2 goals.
For more on the two teams, check out Buffalo Sabres blog Die By The Blade and Tampa Bay Lightning blog Raw Charge. For more on the action around the league and all of the latest news, head over to SB Nation NHL.