The first forechecking look the Sabres give is the 2-1-2 forecheck. However, in certain game situations (i.e., the score, time left in a period, etc.) they tend to switch to a slightly more conservative 2-3 lock. This system also sends two forecheckers into the zone like the 2-1-2, but the third forward sits back with the defense up high. This ensures protection against odd man rushes, but also provides some pressure to create turnovers.
In the defensive zone, the Sabres tend to pressure the points, yet they haven’t been very good at giving Miller protection in the slot. In a must win for the Rangers, they will need to find a way to exploit this and charge to the net. The Sabres also run your standard umbrella powerplay and diamond/box hybrid penalty kill.
For more on Tortorella’s systems read here.
2012-2013 Records: Sabres (19-19-6), Rangers (22-17-4)
NYR Leading Scorer: Rick Nash (18-20-38)
BUF Leading Scorer: Thomas Vanek (17-19-36)
NYR Goaltender: Henrik Lundqvist (38 GP, 2.06 GAA, .928 SV%)
BUF Goaltender: Ryan Miller (36 GP, 2.81 GAA, .915 SV%)
Ryane Clowe-Derick Brassard-Rick Nash
Carl Hagelin-Derek Stepan-Ryan Callahan
Taylor Pyatt-Brad Richards-Mats Zuccarello
Chris Kreider-Darroll Powe-Arron Asham
Ryan McDonagh-Dan Girardi
Michael Del Zotto-Anton Stralman
John Moore-Steve Eminger
Scratches/Injuries: Mike Sauer (concussion), Marc Staal (eye), Brian Boyle (knee), Matt Gilroy (healthy), Roman Hamrlik (healthy)
Broadcast Info: MSG, 7pm
Torts’ post-game interview from Thursday: