Game day notes; Buffalo Sabres at Tampa Bay Lightning (preview)

WHERE: St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa, Florida
MEDIA: Versus (cable), 620 WDAE (radio)

Mattias Ritola has been placed on waivers today by the Lightning. The Detroit Red Wings have the right to first refusal of Ritola as Tampa Bay claimed him off waivers from Detroit last fall.

For those who have missed Ryan Malone, the good news is that he returns to the Bolts lineup tonight. The bad news is that the Lightning lose Nate Thompson for the evening. That was known since yesterday when Guy Boucher announced that Textbook would be out tonight as a precaution. Mike Lundin will also be out again tonight.

The Sabres arrive in Tampa having gone 6-4-0 in their past 10 games and 9-4-1 in 2011. Don't expect special teams, for either squad, to dominate each other. The Bolts and Sabres respective power play end penalty kill units are too evenly matched up to expect this game to be won or lost on special-teams. Buffalo's PP unit is ranked 9th in the NHL, about a single percentage point behind the Lightning. The Sabres penalty kill is ranked 16th in the league, at 82.3%, a percentage point and a half behind the Lightning's 9th ranked PK unit (83.8).

Dwayne Roloson starts in net for the Bolts, expect Ryan Miller between the pipes for the Sabres... And hope the Lightning offense can figure him out.

Other Previews

Tampa Bay Lightning official team preview

Bolts by the Bay

Full game coverage on SB Nation

Raw Charge on Facebook @RawCharge