The Sabres are in Buffalo for the first time since before Christmas. Here are Five Things to Know as they host Tyler Myers and Winnipeg tonight in KeyBank Center.
1. Road wasn't fun
Including the "home game" on New Year's Day in Citi Field, the Sabres have played seven straight away from Buffalo. They went just 1-4-2 to drop to 10-23-9 this season. The Sabres have a home record of 5-10-3.
The Sabres' last regulation victory was actually their last home game. They beat Philadelphia, 4-2, on Dec. 22. The road win was a 4-3 overtime victory in New Jersey on Dec. 29.
"It's great to be back, but it's also about getting ready for tonight," Sabres coach Phil Housley said after the morning skate. "We have a good opportunity to play an excellent opponent. Winnipeg is a heavy team, forechecks hard. They're playing really well right now, have a lot of confidence.
"For us, we have to be ready at the start again. One of the things we've got to really focus on is being disciplined and stay out of the box."
2. Tyler Myers is here
The Sabres traded the defenseman to Winnipeg in February 2015, but he has yet to play in Buffalo as a visitor. He was hurt for the previous two visits. The skid of absences ends tonight.
Myers has five goals, 22 points and a plus-9 rating in 43 games for the Jets. He has appeared in every game after being limited to just 11 last season because of a lower-body injury.
Buffalo selected Myers in the first round of the 2008 NHL Draft, and he won the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year in 2009-10.
3. Jets are hot
Winnipeg leads the Central Division with a 25-11-7 record. The Jets are 5-0-1 in the last six and 7-1-2 in the past 10.
"I'm not surprised at all they've been able to turn things around," Sabres right wing Jason Pominville said. "You look at the depth of their team, their forwards are creating. They've got speed. They can make plays. Their power play has been good, and they've been healthy on the back end. That's definitely helping a lot as well."
The Jets' power play ranks second in the NHL at 25 percent. The Sabres have the third-best penalty kill at home at 90.2 percent, but they've allowed a power-play goal in seven of the last eight overall.
"We're giving other teams too many opportunities," Housley said. "We're not getting in that shot lane. We're not getting that 200-foot clear at a critical time in the penalty kill. Those are areas we were really good at."
4. Robin Lehner is back
The Sabres goaltender missed practice Monday after taking a puck off the neck Sunday, but he returned for the morning skate and is expected to start. Lehner has started 26 of the last 34 games. He is 9-16-6 this season with a .911 save percentage.
Sabres left wing Benoit Pouliot is expected to be the healthy scratch for the second time in three games. Pouliot has two goals and one assist in his last 23 games.
The Sabres' lines:
Zemgus Girgensons-Jack Eichel-Kyle Okposo
Evander Kane-Ryan O'Reilly-Pominville
Scott Wilson-Evan Rodrigues-Sam Reinhart
Johan Larsson-Jacob Josefson-Jordan Nolan
The Sabres' defense:
Marco Scandella-Rasmus Ristolainen
Nathan Beaulieu-Zach Bogosian
Brendan Guhle-Jake McCabe
Victor Antipin (illness) skated with the Sabres for the first time since Dec. 29, but he'll remain on the sidelines with fellow defenseman Justin Falk.
5. Jets learn quickly
The Sabres lost, 4-3, in Winnipeg on Friday. This will be the seventh time the Jets have played an opponent twice in a week. In the first six instances, they're 6-0 with a 28-5 scoring edge.