The Bandits only play back to back once this season, but that second game is proving to be huge.
Tonight the Buffalo Bandits look to take the Prudential Center by storm as they face the New York Titans in an East Division showdown. Buffalo enters the match up two games ahead of the Titans in the standings and with a victory can clinch the division title. That would give Buffalo homefield advantage in the first two rounds of the postseason.
The theme of the weekend has been revenge, and that’s no different tonight. The last time these two teams met, New York came away with an 11-9 victory in Buffalo, just their second home loss of the season. With postseason positioning on the line, a heated rivalry only looks to get more intense tonight.
Last night’s win over Rochester featured a low shot total but plenty of secondary scoring, and that’s just what Buffalo is hoping for tonight. Bandits head coach Darris Kilgour has stressed shot quality over quantity all season, and the team struggled against Titans goaltender Matt Vinc in their last meeting. When facing a hot goaltender, an offense like Buffalo’s can become stagnant when their best players (Tavares and Steenhuis) are asked to do too much.
If Buffalo can pull out both games this weekend they shut the door on New York and Boston and can set their sights on Calgary and the best record in the NLL. If New York wins, the Bandits’ final game of the season becomes a huge showdown at home against Boston. The last meeting between Buffalo and New York proved to be an entertaining showdown between the two best teams in the East. I’d expect the same tonight.
7:30 faceoff from the shiny new Prudential Center. NLL.com has the video if you feel like spending the evening indoors. We’ll have the recap by sunrise.