Tampa Bay Lightning v Buffalo Sabres

Tonight on Versus: Thomas Vanek looks to light up streaking Lightning


Coming into tonight’s game between Buffalo and Tampa Bay (7:30 p.m. ET on Versus) you might’ve thought you’d hear a lot about Steve Stamkos and Martin St. Louis lighting up the world offensively. Not so fast… It’s the Sabres that come into this game with the nice start (5-2-0) and a superstar of their own lighting up the world.

Thomas Vanek is tops on the Sabres in goals with six and is hanging around in the NHL top-ten in points as well. He’s one of the best paid guys in Buffalo, but he’s showing that it’s not going to waste by getting back to his scoresheet-filling ways. Vanek along with Jason Pominville and rookie Luke Adam have been making it look easy for Buffalo offensively speaking.

One person the Sabres will have to d without is Tyler Ennis. Ennis’ injury is forcing Lindy Ruff to juggle his lines around a bit. We’ll see how the new look lines play tonight.

Oddly enough for Tampa Bay, the guy that comes into tonight’s game as their top scorer isn’t any one of Stamkos, St. Louis, or even Vincent Lecavalier. Instead it’s Marc-Andre Bergeron leading the charge there. Oh by the way, the Lightning have stumbled out of the gate. That’s not exactly a coincidence.

Not helping matters there has been the poor play of Dwayne Roloson in goal. Mathieu Garon has gotten the call the last couple games and Tampa has won their last two. Either way, having Garon or Roloson face off with Ryan Miller comes off as a really lopsided match-up.

Do the Sabres keep rolling along or has Tampa figured things out and stay hot? After seeing Tampa shutout the Sabres on Saturday night, Buffalo will be looking for payback at home tonight.

Kings’ AHL affiliate gives Emery PTO

Ray Emery
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Ray Emery has agreed to join the Ontario Reign on a professional tryout, according to a team release.

The Reign are the minor league affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings.

Emery attended Tampa Bay’s training camp on a PTO, but he was released after the team claimed Kevin Poulin on waivers from the Islanders.

The 33-year-old had a 10-11-7 record with a 3.06 goals-against-average and a .894 save percentage in 31 games with the Flyers last season.

Even with starter Jonathan Quick struggling, it’s hard to envision this move leading to a return to the NHL for Emery.

The Kings have Quick and Jhonas Enroth with the big club, while veteran Peter Budaj was signed to a two-way contract on Friday.

Goalie nods: Reimer makes first start of the season

James Reimer
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James Reimer will get his first start of the 2015-16 season on Saturday night against Ottawa.

Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock made it clear from the beginning that Jonathan Bernier was going to start on Wednesday against Montreal and Friday in Detroit, while Reimer would get in against the Sens.

“I’ve known this for a long time that (Bernier is) starting and he’s starting on Wednesday and he’s starting on Friday. Reims is starting on Saturday,” Babcock said before the season began.

Things haven’t gone according to plan for Toronto through two games.

Not only have they lost both contests, but Bernier was pulled in yesterday’s 4-0 loss to the Red Wings, and the team has scored only one goal this season.

Reimer, who stopped 12 of 13 shots in just under 40 minutes of action against Detroit, will go up against Craig Anderson.


Cam Talbot will try to get his first win as an Oiler as they travel to Nashville to take on the Predators. Pekka Rinne will start for the Predators.

Carey Price and Tuukka Rask will face-off when the Canadiens and Bruins renew hostilities at the TD Garden in Boston.

Petr Mrazek will be between the pipes when the Red Wings take on the ‘Canes in Carolina. Cam Ward gets the nod for the Hurricanes.

Keith Kinkaid for the Devils. Braden Holtby makes his first start of the year in the Capitals’ season opener.

Steve Mason for the Flyers. Roberto Luongo for the Panthers in their opener.

-Columbus hasn’t confirmed who their starter will be in the back half of their home-and-home with the Rangers. Henrik Lundqvist will start for New York.

Jake Allen makes his first start of the regular season for St. Louis. Devan Dubnyk for the Wild.

-The Islanders have yet to confirm their starter for tonight’s game in Chicago. Scott Darling for the ‘Hawks after Corey Crawford helped spoil the party in Brooklyn yesterday.

Antti Niemi gets the call for Dallas after he blanked the Penguins in his first start. Semyon Varlamov for Colorado.

Jonas Hiller for Calgary. Ryan Miller for the Canucks.

-The Penguins haven’t confirmed who their starter will be in Arizona tonight. Mike Smith will likely play in back-to-back games after beating the Kings on Friday.

-The Ducks have yet to confirm their starter. Martin Jones will start for San Jose.