Sabres Set To Face Off Against New York
With four games remaining in the 2021 NHL season, the Sabres are preparing for their final games against the Islanders. Buffalo will play two home games against New York on back to back nights starting May 3.
The big news going into the first contest is Buffalo’s starting goaltender for game one. Earlier today the Sabres announced that goaltender Michel Houser make his NHL debut against the Islanders. The 28 year old has played professional games at the ECHL and AHL level, and has long awaited his chance in the National Hockey League.
Furthermore, Houser has not started a game since March of 2020 where he posted a shutout with Cincinnati in the ECHL.
Goaltending has been a large topic of conversation for the Sabres to this point in the season. In addition, Houser’s start on Monday night will make him the sixth goalie to start for Buffalo this season.
Looking Ahead To Pittsburgh
Following their final two home games, Buffalo closes out their season on the road against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Although the Sabres have yet to beat the New York Islanders this season, they do have a single win against the Penguins.
As the Sabres prepare for their final games, winning one or more of these games would provide a much needed moral boost to close out the year.
In addition, the Penguins currently sit in soul possession of the top seed in the east. This is worth noting due to the fact that neither team has any future implications riding on the contest. Therefore the Sabres will have a chance to end on a high note if the Penguins choose to limit their stars going into playoffs.
With the Sabres preparing for their final four games of the season, all eyes are on that of the NHL draft lottery. Baring any unprecedented events, Buffalo is set to finish last in the NHL.
Finishing last in the league provides Buffalo with the highest percentage chance of receiving the first overall pick, but that is not guaranteed. The Sabres will have an 18.5% chance of receiving the first overall pick.
One rule change this season that benefits Buffalo is the teams ability to fall in the draft. Previously, the lottery allowed teams to fall from the first overall pick to the forth overall pick. The new rule however states that the lowest the last place team can slide is third overall.
All NHL teams that miss the playoffs are awarded a spot in the draft lottery. The lottery winner is picked by the drawing of a ping pong ball. Therefore, regardless of percentages, the first overall pick is not a given.
If Buffalo were to win the lottery, the current projected number one pick is Owen Power. Power is a 6’6″ 214 pound defensemen out of the University of Michigan.
The NHL draft lottery is set to take place on July 23.
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