Buffalo Sabres vs Pittsburgh Penguins 3/25/21 Game Preview

Let it be known as The Kevyn Adams Game ™

In what has been a season of curve balls, the Sabres will face one unlike any other as their General Manager steps in as Head Coach on Thursday night.

It was announced late this evening that due to the league’s COVID-19 protocol, Interim HC Don Granato and Assistant Matt Ellis were unavailable for tonight’s game. In turn, GM Kevyn Adams returns to the bench where he spent two seasons as an assitant with Buffalo back in 2011-2013.

While the team won’t comment more until they’re released from protocol, Adams said Ellis and Granato are, “both doing great.” The GM continued that the coaches, “both feel good and we’ll hopefully have more information shortly on where we go from here.”

Expected Lines

Sabres

Hall-Staal-Reinhart
Olofsson-Cozens-Sheahan
Skinner-Lazar-Mittelstadt
Smith-Eakin-Fogarty

Dahlin – Miller
Bryson – Ristolainen
Jokiharju – Montour

Tokarski

Pittsburgh

Guentzel – Crosby – Rust
Aston-Reese – McCann – Rodrigues
Zohorna – Jankowski – Lafferty
Sceviour – Gaudreau – Angello

Dumoulin – Letang
Matheson – Ceci

Pettersson – Marino

DeSmith

*Penguins forward Kasperi Kapanen was injured against the Sabres on Wednesday and is now listed as week-to-week.

Tale of the Tape

Record: Buffalo (6-21-4; 8th division/31st league) vs. Pittsburgh Penguins (20-11-2; 3rd division/10th league)

5v5 Goals For %: Buffalo (34.8%; 31st) vs. Pittsburgh Penguins (53.39%; 10th)

5v5 xGoals For %: Buffalo (47.0%; 25th) vs. Pittsburgh Penguins (49.6%; 18th)

Point Leaders: Olofsson (21) vs. Crosby (34)

Changes to Hockey Department

Scouting Staff

Amidst reports that the Sabres do not have scouts active in the WHL, Adams noted this afternoon that the team is internally restructuring and looking to add to the department.

Jeremiah Crowe will lead the Pro Scouting while Jerry Forton is in charge of Amateur Scouting.

Assistant GM

There have been a handful of reports the past few weeks tying the Sabres to former Penguins AGM Jason Karmanos for the Sabres vacant position next to Kevyn Adams. TSN’s Bob McKenzie spilled the tea during last night’s broadcast that today was the day that Adams would be interviewing Karmanos.

Despite the sudden change of plans, Adams, without naming names, confirmed that he did still have the interview today.

Roster Update

Steven Fogarty and C.J. Smith will be in the lineup against Pittsburgh after being recalled from the taxi squad this afternoon.

Kevyn Adams noted that Tage Thompson is sick, although not in COVID-19 protocols. Rasmus Asplund has also joined the lengthy list of Sabres players on injured reserve.

Prediction: Nothing makes sense anymore. Sabres snap their 15-game losing streak with Kevyn Adams behind the bench.

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