banner

NHL

more stats

NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Sunday, March 23rd (All times Eastern)

Buffalo Sabres (20-42-8) at Vancouver Canucks (32-20-10), 8 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - With time running out in the regular season, the Vancouver Canucks will try to make up ground in the Western Conference playoff race on Sunday when they host the lowly Buffalo Sabres at Rogers Arena.

Sitting five points out of a playoff spot with only 10 games left on their schedule, the Canucks are in danger of missing the postseason in their first campaign under head coach John Tortorella.

Although Vancouver didn't make it out of the first round in each of the last two springs, the club hasn't missed the playoffs since 2008.

With 74 points, Vancouver is five behind Phoenix for the second wild card spot in the West. The Coyotes hold a game in hand over the Canucks, but with Phoenix idle on Sunday, Tortorella's club has a chance to cut the deficit to three points,

The Canucks expect to get at least one key forward back on Sunday, as Ryan Kesler and Daniel Sedin returned to practice on Friday and could help with Vancouver's postseason push. Sedin has missed the last nine games with an injured left hamstring, while Kesler has sat out the last four with a sprained right knee. Sedin expects to play tonight, while Kesler will be a game-time decision.

"Danny is in. Not sure on (Kessler). We will make a decision tomorrow," Tortorella said after practice Saturday.

Fellow forward Alexandre Burrows, however, expects to miss Sunday's tilt after injuring his left hand in Vancouver's recent win over the Nashville Predators.

Vancouver has won two of its last three games and is coming off Wednesday's 2-0 victory over visiting Nashville. Another win Sunday against the basement- dwelling Sabres would give the Canucks consecutive victories for the first time since beating Calgary and Edmonton from Jan. 18-21.

The Canucks used a strong performance from rookie goaltender Eddie Lack to down the Predators. Lack made 30 saves for his fourth shutout of the season, while Alexander Edler and Nicklas Jensen scored in the third period for Vancouver.

Jensen snapped a scoreless tie 6:06 into the third stanza. He scored from the top of the right circle after Henrik Sedin lost the puck in the slot.

"It's being confident and not panicking and just trying to put it on net," Jensen said of his shot, which went just under the crossbar. "The fact the coach gives me that opportunity is really good, but at the same time you have to show you want to be in those situations too."

Vancouver is 17-11-6 as the host this season and is wrapping a brief two-game homestand on Sunday.

Buffalo is last in the NHL with just 48 points this season, but the Sabres were able to snap a seven-game losing streak in their last trip to the ice, picking up a 3-1 win in Edmonton.

Cory Conacher had two goals on deflections and picked up an assist to back Buffalo neophyte Matt Hackett in Thursday's win over the Oilers. Hackett, the fifth goaltender to start for Buffalo this season, made 35 saves and helped the Sabres kill off 5-of-6 Edmonton power plays.

"I think we deserved that one," said Conacher. "We kept it pretty simple for the most part. We ran into a bit of penalty trouble, but our PK came up huge."

Hackett, who was recently called up from Rochester of the American Hockey League, made his debut with the club that acquired from Minnesota last April.

With Jhonas Enroth and Michal Neuvirth still out with lower-body injuries, 22- year-old rookie Nathan Lieuwen will make his second career start on Sunday. Hackett will serve as the backup.

Buffalo is 8-22-3 on the road this season and is playing the third test of a five-game swing on Sunday. The Sabres will continue the trek Tuesday in Montreal before completing the trip Thursday against Nashville.

The Sabres have won four of the last six meetings with Vancouver, but the Canucks recorded a 3-0 win in Buffalo on Oct. 17.

Sunday's game marks Buffalo's first road game against the Canucks since posting a 5-3 win on March 3, 2012. Before that victory two years ago, the Sabres had been winless in their previous six trips to B.C., going 0-5-0 with a tie.

03/23 11:00:47 ET

Other Stories

Hurricanes

Hurricanes stifled by Sharks rookie in 2-0 loss 1
Hurricanes place Bellemore on IR, recall Jordan from Charlotte

The Carolina Hurricanes have placed defenseman Brett Bellemore on injured reserve with a lower-body injury, the team announced Tuesday.

Related Stories
  • NFL: Chicago at Detroit

    Tomorrow at 12:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Philadelphia at Dallas

    Tomorrow at 4:00 pm on FOX50

  • SEC: Arkansas at Missouri

    Friday at 2:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • HSFB: Football Friday with Tom Suiter

    Friday at 11:35 pm on WRAL-TV

  • CBB: Duke vs. Furman

    Tonight at 5:00 on 620am

  • CBB: NC State vs. Richmond

    Tonight at 7:00 on WRAL-FM

  • NHL: Hurricanes at Florida

    Tonight at 7:30 on 99.9 The Fan

  • NFL: Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions

    Tomorrow at 12:30 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
2nd
UNC 55
BUT 63
 
2:30pm Today
ECU
HAW
5:00pm Tonight
DUKE
FUR
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
POR
7:00pm Tonight
NCSU
RICH
7:30pm Tonight
FLA
CAR
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
BRK
7:00pm Tonight
ORL
GSW
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
POR
7:00pm Tonight
CLE
WAS
7:30pm Tonight
DET
LAC
7:30pm Tonight
DAL
NYK
7:30pm Tonight
ATL
TOR
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
MIL
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
SAC
8:00pm Tonight
OKC
UTA
8:30pm Tonight
SAN
IND
9:00pm Tonight
PHO
DEN
10:30pm Tonight
LAL
MEM
2nd
UNC 55
BUT 63
 
Final
FRES 64
MAR 68
 
Final
CHAT 61
RMU 46
 
Final
EMICH 68
ROCH 35
 
1st
MRGST 15
LIB 11
 
1st
HAMP 3
AMER 0
 
2:00pm Today
BEL
DEN
2:00pm Today
UMASS
NE
2:00pm Today
JMU
SHU
 
2:00pm Today
KNST
SAMF
 
2:30pm Today
ECU
HAW
2:30pm Today
CHAM
MIZZ
2:30pm Today
OKLA
UCLA
2:30pm Today
CCAR
LAMON
4:00pm Today
ELON
UNF
 
4:00pm Today
UWMIL
ORU
4:30pm Today
WCU
CHIST
5:00pm Tonight
DUKE
FUR
5:00pm Tonight
BYU
PURD
6:00pm Tonight
EVAN
USF
7:00pm Tonight
COL
GTDNS
 
7:00pm Tonight
VERM
BRY
 
7:00pm Tonight
OSU
CAMP
7:00pm Tonight
CORN
CAN
7:00pm Tonight
LOU
CLST
7:00pm Tonight
UCF
DAVID
7:00pm Tonight
IONA
DELST
 
7:00pm Tonight
OU
UGST
7:00pm Tonight
TOWS
GOUCHER
 
7:00pm Tonight
ND
GRAM
 
7:00pm Tonight
YALE
LAF
 
7:00pm Tonight
GWU
LONG
 
7:00pm Tonight
VT
UMO
7:00pm Tonight
WAKE
MNTER
 
7:00pm Tonight
NAVY
PSUHARRIS
 
7:00pm Tonight
NCSU
RICH
7:00pm Tonight
MINN
STJ
7:00pm Tonight
JVU
TRINBAPT
 
7:00pm Tonight
YOUNG
UMKC
 
7:00pm Tonight
UAB
WISC
7:30pm Tonight
PITT
KYST
7:30pm Tonight
WVU
VMI
8:00pm Tonight
DEP
LEH
 
8:00pm Tonight
UNT
MVSU
 
8:00pm Tonight
MARS
MORE
8:00pm Tonight
TCU
RAD
 
8:00pm Tonight
SELA
TENT
 
8:00pm Tonight
SMU
TXSOU
 
8:00pm Tonight
UTAH
TXPA
8:00pm Tonight
LMU
UCR
8:00pm Tonight
SCAR
UNCA
 
8:00pm Tonight
SD
WAYNEST
 
8:30pm Tonight
UWGB
FLGC
8:30pm Tonight
IOWA
NILL
9:00pm Tonight
ORST
AUB
9:00pm Tonight
MONT
CARROLLMT
 
9:00pm Tonight
SUTAH
EKENT
9:00pm Tonight
NMST
FAM
 
9:00pm Tonight
WYO
STET
 
9:05pm Tonight
EWASH
NKENTUCKY
 
9:05pm Tonight
IDST
WLVRN
 
9:30pm Tonight
GEOR
UF
9:30pm Tonight
GONZ
UGA
9:30pm Tonight
NIOWA
NW
10:00pm Tonight
SDST
ARZ
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
CPSL
10:00pm Tonight
UCD
UTST
10:30pm Tonight
NDAK
ALAST
11:00pm Tonight
CSNO
PORST
11:30pm Tonight
AKAN
PAC
11:30pm Tonight
OKST
TULSA
7:00pm Tonight
NYI
WAS
7:00pm Tonight
BUF
WIN
7:30pm Tonight
FLA
CAR
7:30pm Tonight
TAM
NYR
7:30pm Tonight
DET
PHI
7:30pm Tonight
PIT
TOR
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
LOS
9:00pm Tonight
COL
CHI
10:30pm Tonight
SJS
CAL