Buffalo
Sabres
39-32-11
Columbus
Blue Jackets
29-46-7

29 SOG
34 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
BUF
CBJ
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Sabres-Blue Jackets Preview

Thursday, 11.24.2011 / 1:50 PM

Frank Mentesana - NHL.com Staff Writer

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Sabres-Blue Jackets Preview
Buffalo Sabres vs. Columbus Blue Jackets

With one of the better special-teams units in the NHL, the Buffalo Sabres have been tough to beat on the road.

The injury-plagued Sabres will try to add to their league-leading seven road victories Friday night as they look to defeat the Columbus Blue Jackets for the fourth straight meeting.

Buffalo (12-8-1) is 7-2-0 on the road to match San Jose for the league's best mark. The Sabres own the NHL's seventh-best power play at 20.5 percent and the fourth-best penalty kill at 88.3 percent.

That should give Buffalo a major advantage since Columbus (5-13-3) has a power-play percentage of 13.8 and the NHL's second-worst penalty kill at 73.6 percent. The Sabres are 7 for 13 on the power play during their three-game win streak over the Blue Jackets, going 2 for 3 in a 4-2 home victory Oct. 27.

The Sabres' lengthy injury list grew longer as they played their first game without defenseman Tyler Myers in Wednesday's 4-3 shootout loss to Boston. Myers is out for at least a month with a broken wrist.

Coach Lindy Ruff isn't optimistic about the status of right wing Brad Boyes, who left Wednesday and didn't return after Boston defenseman Dennis Seidenberg fell into and rolled over Boyes' right leg

"It could be a period of time," Ruff said.

Buffalo remains without goaltender Ryan Miller, defenseman Mike Weber and forwards Jochen Hecht, Tyler Ennis and Cody McCormick.

The Sabres gave up two power-play goals for the first time and blew a two-goal lead against the red-hot Bruins, but were satisfied with their effort on a night in which rookie defenseman T.J. Brennan scored in his NHL debut.

"We talked about playing our game," center Paul Gaustad said. "I thought we executed well, unfortunate about the outcome but I thought we played well."

Jhonas Enroth continues to fill in superbly for Miller, going 7-2-1 with a 2.09 goals-against average in 10 starts. He's won all four road starts, and is 9-1-2 in his career as a starter on the road.

The league-worst Blue Jackets are optimistic thanks to a 3-1-2 stretch following their disastrous 2-12-1 start.

"I think the last four or five, six games, our momentum has finally swung to where we're feeling a lot better about ourselves, and our team game is really starting to step up," coach Scott Arniel said.

Columbus fell 2-1 at New Jersey on Wednesday, going 0 for 6 on the power play. The Blue Jackets outshot the Devils 36-24, including 17-3 in the third period, but were repeatedly denied by Martin Brodeur.

"I thought we did a lot of really good things, should have, could have had some opportunities to win it," Arniel said. "But I thought that was a pretty good solid effort."

Arniel has given veteran Curtis Sanford the last four starts with former Calder Trophy winner Steve Mason continuing to struggle. Sanford has a 1.33 GAA.

Blue Jackets left wing Vinny Prospal, who has a team-high 19 points, will play in his 1,000th game Friday.

Arniel spent four seasons as Ruff's assistant in Buffalo from 2002-06.

2011-2012 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Nov 25 '11BUF 1 at CBJ 5R. Nash
Oct 27 '11CBJ 2 at BUF 4P. Kaleta
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
T. Vanek22121325+32263
J. Pominville2281624+0231
D. Roy226915-41620
L. Adam226814-21000
D. Stafford224812-52211
N. Gerbe223811+41401
C. Ehrhoff222911-61210
J. Leopold22549+2600
B. Boyes21268+0010
M. Gragnani20178+5410
T. Myers19246-41010
P. Gaustad22156+13101
V. Leino22235-7201
A. Sekera22134+21000
M. Ellis15123+0401
P. Kaleta16202-33401
C. Tropp9112-2600
C. McCormick17022-32400
T. Brennan2101+0200
R. Regehr22011-42200
Z. Kassian1011+1000
T. Ennis7000+2200
M. Weber3000-5700
J. Hecht2000+1000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
J. Enroth137-3-1283612.40.922
R. Miller115-6-0283082.86.909
D. MacIntyre20-0-01181.40.944
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
V. Prospal2261319+11020
R. Nash2271017-9831
R. Johansen185510+4413
G. Clitsome213710-61410
F. Tyutin222810-31600
J. Wisniewski141910-81701
A. Vermette22279-4401
J. Carter12358+2810
R. Umberger22347-5410
A. Johnson12246-1610
N. Nikitin14055-2400
D. MacKenzie22314+3410
M. Letestu19314-5220
D. Dorsett22224-46400
D. Brassard17224-11410
K. Russell12213-11300
M. Methot16123+11400
M. Calvert13033-51600
S. Pahlsson22022-2600
D. Savard7022-2600
J. Moore14101-2200
A. Giroux9101-2800
J. Boll8101-12700
M. Mayorov8101-2200
R. Martinek7101-3000
C. Atkinson5101-6000
C. Bass12011+02700
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
S. Mason163-12-1544323.63.875
C. Sanford63-0-271411.27.950
A. York40-1-06493.53.878
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