Buffalo Sabres vs. Winnipeg Jets - 12/17/13
Winnipeg Jets (14-15-5) at Buffalo Sabres (7-23-3)
NHL Hockey: Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at 7:00 pm (First Niagara Center)
The Line: Buffalo Sabres +110 / Winnipeg Jets -121 --- Over/Under: 5 See the Latest Odds
The Winnipeg Jets head east to Buffalo to take on the Sabres after a big win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday night. The biggest factor in the victory over the Jackets was Evander Kane, Winnipeg's young star who had been out after missing time with a lower body injury. Kane scored the game winner in the third period to lift the Jets to a very big 3-2 road win. Mark Scheifele gave Winnipeg a 1-0 lead with his fourth goal of the season in the second period. Bryan Little made it 2-0 before Columbus cut the lead to a goal and then Kane scored the eventual game winner. Al Montoya got the start in this one for the Jets and made 22 saves to pick up the victory. Montoya should probably get a few more starts than he does but the Jets love to ride Ondrej Pavelec and he should be in goal to take on Ryan Miller on Tuesday night in Buffalo. It's a quick turnaround for the Jets but they'll be taking on a club that they should beat and they enter this one with some confidence after this big win on Monday night. Kane's return to the lineup is a huge factor for a Jets team that really lacks dynamic playmakers. Keeping Kane healthy and having him in the lineup alongside Blake Wheeler is extremely important for this club moving forward. Buffalo enters the gave having lost five of their last six games and the Sabres have a record of 7-23-3 on the year. This club can't score goals in front of Miller and despite how well he's played in goals it has been almost impossible to win hockey games. The Sabres are dead last in the league with a 1.55 goals per game average, a number that almost isn't even believable unless you've watched this hockey team play. Even the Florida Panthers, who are 29th in the league, are averaging 2.18. Miller is playing his tail off and you know he's hoping to be there for the United States Olympic team in February as well as hopefully showcasing him to a needy suitor at the trade deadline. Miller deserves better with the way he's played this season and at least on Tuesday night he'll have a chance against a Winnipeg team that isn't a world beater offensively. This is good spot for the Sabres but they're just not a very good hockey club.
Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports