Faceoff: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Mohegan Sun Arena.
Online: NLL TV.
Radio: 1520 AM.
Records: Buffalo 6-7, New England 6-5.
Last time out: The Bandits lost a pair of games last weekend to push their losing streak to four games. The week started with a 16-10 home loss to the Saskatchewan Rush on Friday. Two days later, Georgia's Lyle Thompson scored five goals on Buffalo goalie Zach Higgins to lift the Swarm to a 14-10 victory.
New England saw its two-game winning streak come to an end last Friday with a 14-9 loss to the Toronto Rock. The Black Wolves were within one goal late in the third quarter, but Toronto ended the game on a 4-0 run and shut out New England in the fourth quarter.
Nice to see you: This is the first matchup between these teams since they made the blockbuster trade that sent Shawn Evans to Buffalo and Callum Crawford to New England. Evans has totaled six goals and three assists in three games with the Bandits, while Crawford has two goals and five assists with the Black Wolves.
See you again: Buffalo and New England will meet for a second straight time next Saturday at KeyBank Center. That matchup will conclude the three-game season series, which Buffalo currently leads 1-0 thanks to an 18-13 victory in February.
Standings update: With their two losses last week, the Bandits fell into a tie for last place in the East Division with Georgia and the Rochester Knighthawks. The standings are still very tight, as first-place New England is only a game up on the three teams.
Lethal weapon: Kevin Crowley, New England's leading goal scorer, is on pace to have the best scoring output in his seven-year career. He's notched 30 goals in 11 games, good for a tie with Buffalo's Dhane Smith for third in the league.
Milestones reached: Smith notched his 500th career point against the Swarm, while Mitch Jones dished out his 100th assist as a Bandit.
Shaking things up: New England has added three players to its offensive unit in midseason trades. It started with snagging Stephan LeBlanc in a trade with the Rock in late December. Black Wolves GM Rich Lisk added two more faces in the month before Monday's trade deadline, acquiring Crawford from Buffalo and Johnny Powless from the Swarm.
Sputtering offense: The biggest change between Buffalo's four-game winning streak and four-game losing streak this season is the offensive production. Buffalo averaged 17 goals per game and never scored fewer than 16 during the winning streak. During the losing streak, Buffalo has averaged 9.25 goals a game and hasn't surpassed the 10-goal mark.
Making the adjustment: While the Bandits have some game action under their belt with Evans in the lineup, there's still work to be done in getting the offense to mesh. While it's only a one player change, Evans is more of a ball-dominant player than Crawford was. Between Smith and Evans, Buffalo has two players used to being the focal point of an offense.
"We kind of changed our games a little bit too much," Smith said after the Saskatchewan loss. "We're trying to do a little bit too much, getting each other open. I think we have to go back to how we play and figure it out from there."
Back from injury: Transition player Mark Steenhuis returned to the Bandits lineup on Sunday after missing seven games with an injury. He had one assist and grabbed two loose balls against the Swarm.