Reprinted with permission from hockeybuzz.com
Buffalo Sabres fans are getting a bit of a reprieve from the wreckage as the team is off tonight after a back-to-back road set with two of the best teams in the league--the Anaheim Ducks and the Los Angeles Kings They'll resume tomorrow with a matinee in San Jose' vs. the Sharks.
Buffalo is still reeling from lack of scoring as they've been shutout in 3 of the last four games and managed just one goal in the other. They haven't been playing poorly, but they haven't been able to put the puck in the net either.
Only one player, Tyler Ennis, was able to pot a goal in those four games and as it stands, through eight games, the team has scored only eight goals. With only two points the team is in a last place tie with the Florida Panthers although the Sabres have played two more games.
Conversely, their farm team, the Rochester Americans, have gotten off to a excellent start with a 3-1 record through the first four games of the season. They've won back-to-back games and are looking to extend that streak against the Adirondack Flames, a team they beat 6-1 to open the season.
Unlike the Sabres, the Amreks are putting the puck in the net. Through four games they've scored 17 goals tied with the Milwaukee Admirals (four games) and the Albany Devils (seven games.) And their goaltend has been holding up real well too. Rochester has allowed 10 goals with six of them coming in a 6-4 loss vs. the Hamilton Bulldogs in the second game of the season.
Forward Phil Varone (2+4) and defenseman Chad Ruhwedel (1+5) lead the team in points, while two unlikely players, hard-working forward Tim Schaller and Akim Aliu, who is with the team on a 25-game professional tryout lead the team with three goals each. Ruhwedel leads all AHL defensemen in points. William Carrier, acquired in the Ryan Miller trade, is tied for the AHL lead in scoring amongst rookies with four points (1+3.)
An already strong roster was bolstered on defense by the additions of Mark Pysyk and Jake McCabe who were sent to Rochester by Buffalo. Both, especially Pysyk, could be playing with the Sabres right now.
Nathan Lieuwen has appeared in all four games for Rochester and has compiled a 3-1 record with a 2.26 gaa and a .915 save percentage.
Game time tonight is 7:05.