There are days when travel can be a pain for sports teams, and then there were trips like Friday night. Things couldn't have gone better for the Sabres.
They high-tailed it out of Carolina shortly after their 1-0 victory, and they got home from North Carolina just a few minutes after midnight. Couple that with their decision to flip morning skate times with Phoenix (the Coyotes went on at 10:30 a.m. and the Sabres had an 11 a.m. meeting), and Buffalo feels fresh heading into tonight's game against the Coyotes.
"We did a good job of getting out of Carolina and getting back home," coach Lindy Ruff said in First Niagara Center. "We can’t get home that quick coming from Montreal or Ottawa, from a shorter destination. We got the proper amount of sleep. We flipped ice times to allow our players to stay home longer, which is something we’re going to do in these situations. Now it’s about puck management and playing a smart game."
The Sabres improved to 4-1 in the opening game of back-to-backs, and they'll try to equal that record in second games tonight.
Jhonas Enroth will get the start in goal following his first shutout of the season. Jochen Hecht (concussion) and Tyler Ennis (ankle) will not return, though they continue to get close. Ruff said goaltender Ryan Miller has shown some improvement from his concussion/neck injury.
"He’s still not quite right but doing better," Ruff said.
Phoenix forward Taylor Pyatt, a former Sabres winger, will play his 700th game tonight.
"It's fitting because I played a good part of my career here," Pyatt said.
To hear Ruff talk about Pyatt, Luke Adam, Marc-Andre Gragnani and Corey Tropp, click the audio file below.