Sabres stick with Johnson in goal

October 20, 2017
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Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) - With Robin Lehner missing practice on Thursday due to illness, Chad Johnson will get his third straight start. Lehner did practice today and will dress as the backup.

Johnson is 1-1-1 with a 4.08 goals against and .863 save percentage.

There really wasn’t much Johnson could do in Vegas as he was hung out to dry on many occasions. He gave up five goals and lost in overtime.

The Sabres average 3.78 goals against, but believe it or not, that’s better than Montreal.

Jacob Markstrom has played in five of Vancouver’s six games while former Sabre Anders Nilsson has appeared in two games. Markstrom is 1-2-1 with a 2.88 goals against and .901 save percentage.

Historically the Sabres have been a team that gets off to really bad starts. Phil Housley was very upset with their preparations after the start in Vegas. To correct that he thinks more attention must be paid to it, “It’s just a mindset that you have to have. We go into Vegas and we have the day off and that was to try to save our energy and use that time be prepared when the puck drops and that wasn’t the case so that was a valuable lesson.”

With three centers hurt, the Sabres have no choice but to move Sam Reinhart off of Ryan O’Reilly’s wing and put him between Benoit Pouliot and Seth Griffith. Housley said, “There’s a lot of things you wish for and sometimes you’re dealt those hands where you have to play.”

“I thought Sam early on in exhibition games was pretty good at the center position, but we found his niche going back to the wing and that’s not going to take away from his game going back to the middle, he’s still got to be effective, he’s got to play a 200-foot game and I really like the net front presence he’s provided for us on our power play.”

Reinhart has two goals in his last two games.

Evander Kane is sixth in league scoring with five goals and five assists for 10 points in seven games.

Jack Eichel and Jason Pominville have nine points each and are 14th.

Victor Antipin returns to the lineup after being a healthy scratch for four games. Josh Gorges is out due to injury.

Buffalo didn't have any extras in case there was an injury in warmup, so Taylor Fedun is here just in case.

The Sabres have picked three of their last four points which has popped them ahead of Montreal in the Atlantic Division.

Vancouver lost in Boston on Thursday and are at the tail end of three games in four nights. The Canucks beat Ottawa and are catching all three teams, the Sens, the Bruins and the Sabres on their first game back from a Western road trip.

Vancouver has just one win in five games allowing 15 goals in three of those games.

The Canucks penalty kill was just 4-of-8 in Boston

Thomas Vanek has two goals in his last two games and has three on the season.

Brock Boeser is Vancouver's leading scorer with five points in four games.

Vancouver is 6-3-1 in their last 10 games against Buffalo.

Join Bulldog at 6:00 for the pregame live from 716 when he’ll be joined by Phil Housley, Jason Pominville, Jake McCabe and Sam Reinhart.