Tonight's games: post-deadline haze

The night after a trade deadline always feels a little strange; it’s not that different from cleaning up after a raucous party. You have to wonder if the players and coaches are affected by the early afternoon insanity. Not only do you have to deal with scratches but you also must share some awkward goodbyes (or, sometimes worse, realize that you’re stuck with these freaks for the rest of the season).

Still, we’re gamers at PHT so we soldier on. Let’s preview tonight’s six games.
Today’s Best

Washington Capitals (41-13-8, 90 pts) at Buffalo Sabres (33-19-9, 75 pts) – 7:00 PM ET

Will Ovechkin go into Zeus mode after a disappointing Olympics? Buffalo’s not exactly getting a chance to find their legs after the Olympics with back-to-back games against Pittsburgh and Washington.

Vancouver Canucks (38-22-2, 78 pts) at Detroit Red Wings ( 29-21-12, 70 pts) – 7:30 PM ET

Despite Kirk Maltby’s injury, a shockingly human Detroit squad is starting to get its wounded players back. They’re going to need all the help they can get because they have very little margin for error right now.

Rest of the games after the jump

Philadelphia Flyers (33-25-3, 69 pts) at Florida Panthers (24-28-10, 58 pts) – 7:30 PM ET

Don’t blame the Flyers and Panthers if they feel compelled go for the throat in this one. After all, both teams have plenty to prove after doing very little during the deadline.
Edmonton Oilers (19-37-6, 44 pts) at Chicago Blackhawks (41-16-5, 87 pts) – 8:30 PM ET

Yesterday I might have jinxed the Blackhawks against the Islanders, but they really need to win this considering that the Oilers basically transformed from a bad team to an AHL team today.
Minnesota Wild (30-27-4, 64 pts) at Calgary Flames (30-23-9, 69 pts) – 10:00 PM ET

Calgary is one point behind Detroit for the last playoff spot; Minnesota is actually in better position than it might seem because they’ve only played 61 games. The lesson? Just about every team in the West has a chance to make the playoffs aside from Edmonton. (Sorry again Oilers fans)
Colorado Avalanche (35-21-6, 76 pts) at Anaheim Ducks (30-25-7, 67 pts) – 10:00 PM ET

Some might look at this as a game between a band of plucky overachievers (Colorado) and a huge disappointment (Anaheim). Such a statement won’t bother Ducks fans though because they’re still probably celebrating the Visnovsky-Whitney deal.

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    Derek Roy continues his career in Switzerland

    Alex Tanguay, Derek Roy
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    Derek Roy will continue his pro career overseas, as he has signed a contract with Bern in the Swiss League.

    Roy attended training camp on a professional tryout with the Washington Capitals, but he was unable to claim a spot on their roster.

    The 32-year-old had some great years in the NHL, but since the 2011-12 season Roy had suited up for six different teams (excluding his PTO with the Caps).

    His best season came in 2007-08 when he scored 32 goals and 81 points in 78 games with the Buffalo Sabres.

    Roy will leave the NHL with 189 goals and 524 points in 738 career games.

    He will join former NHLers Cory Conacher, Andrew Ebbett, Chuck Kobasew, Simon Moser and Sean Bergenheim in Bern.


    Sabres place Lehner on IR; Recall Lieuwen

    Connor Brown, Robin Lehner
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    They’re just one game into their regular season, but the Buffalo Sabres have already had to shift things around in their crease.

    The Sabres announced that they have placed starting goaltender Robin Lehner on injured reserve after he was knocked out of Thursday’s game with a lower-body injury.

    In a corresponding move, the club has recalled Nathan Lieuwen from their AHL affiliate in Rochester.

    The 24-year-old didn’t play in the NHL last season, but he did have a 1-4-0 record with a 2.98 goals-against-average and a .906 save percentage in seven games during the 2013-14 season.

    Lieuwen was Buffalo’s sixth round pick, 167th overall, in the 2011 draft.

    The Sabres also announced that they have loaned defenseman Jake McCabe and goaltender Linus Ullmark to the Rochester Americans (AHL).

    McCabe was a healthy scratch in Thursday’s game against Ottawa, while Ullmark is being activated off I.R. after having double hip surgery during the off-season.