It promised to be hard to fit the game into the already condensed schedule down the stretch so the NHL dug into the two-week Olympic break to squeeze the game in. The break officially extends to Feb. 26 when operations in the league will resume but the NHL granted special permission for this game to happen one day earlier.
Buffalo will play on the 26th too but the game is at home, meaning they won't have to travel. Carolina meanwhile wasn't slated to resume action until the 27th in Dallas, so there's a day off in between for the Canes to travel.
The big issue of course could be for players getting back from Russia for the Olympics. Take the Sabres for example: Say the United States and Sweden play each other in the gold-medal game, that means both Ryan Miller and Jhonas Enroth would be in Sochi all the way until Feb. 23. They would then have to travel half the globe to be back in Buffalo for a game on the 25th. That could be a long couple of days. You could very well expect to see a few AHL players called up for that game.
By the way that's an issue any number of players could face, not just those two. The Sabres will also send Henrik Tallinder and Zemgus Girgensons to Sochi while the Hurricanes will be represented by Andrej Sekera and Tuomu Ruutu, any one of whom could face long flights back to Buffalo on short notice.
The game had been scheduled for Tuesday in Buffalo but was postponed due to the hazardous weather conditions as Buffalo was under a blizzard warning and temperatures well below freezing.