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Game Preview: Islanders vs Sabres

The Islanders face the Sabres in their home opener at Barclays Center (7 p.m., MSG+, MSG GO)

by Cory Wright WrightsWay / New York Islanders

NEW YORK ISLANDERS (0-1-0) VS BUFFALO SABRES (0-0-1)

7 P.M., BARCLAYS CENTER - BUY TICKETS

TV: MSG+, MSG GO

RADIO: 88.7FM - WRHU, 660AM 101.9FM WFAN


After suffering a 5-0 loss in their season opener on Friday, the New York Islanders are looking to make amends immediately when they host the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday night (7 p.m., MSG+, MSG GO).

"It's a good wakeup call for us," Andrew Ladd said after Friday's loss. "Is there panic in here, not at all. We have the opportunity to come back tomorrow night and right the ship, so we'll be ready tomorrow."

 "We just didn't play with the pace that we've been bragging about for three or four weeks, so we have to play faster," Head Coach Doug Weight said.

Doors open at Barclays Center at 5:30 p.m. and all fans in attendance will receive a magnetic calendar. Click here for more information regarding new additions and bag policies at Barclays Center. 

Tweet from @NYIslanders: "It's incredible. When they get loud we really get behind it."Tonight. Let's do this together. #Isles https://t.co/EjWUHlLk3m pic.twitter.com/GLET9h6NUw
LINEUP NOTES: 

UPDATE: Josh Ho-Sang and Scott Mayfield are in. Cal Clutterbuck (dtd - lower body) and Dennis Seidenberg are out. Jaroslav Halak is the confirmed starter.

Saturday night was supposed to be Jaroslav Halak's debut, but the Islanders goalie wound up playing in relief of Thomas Greiss on Friday night in Columbus. Halak stopped all 11 shots he faced and according to Head Coach Doug Weight, the plan is still for the Slovakian to start on Saturday. 

Halak was the top goalie in preseason, posting a 2-0-0 record with a .974 SV% and a 0.75 GAA. Halak is looking to pick up where he left off last year, as he finished the 2016-17 season with a five-game winning streak. 

Weight said Clutterbuck was day-to-day with a lower-body injury, but that the injury wasn't serious. 

ISLANDERS PROJECTED LINES:

FORWARDS
LEFT WING CENTER  RIGHT WING
ANDERS LEE JOHN TAVARES JORDAN EBERLE
ANDREW LADD MATHEW BARZAL JOSH BAILEY
ANTHONY BEAUVILLIER CASEY CIZIKAS JOSH HO-SANG
NIKOLAY KULEMIN BROCK NELSON JASON CHIMERA

BY THE NUMBERS: 

500 - NHL games for Nick Leddy. The Islanders defenseman will skate in his 500th NHL game on Saturday. Leddy's milestone game will be his 242nd regular-season contest as an Islander after starting his career with 258 games with the Chicago Blackhawks. 

The 26-year-old reached the half-millennial mark relatively quickly, appearing in 500 of a possible 542 games since making his NHL debut in the 2010-11 season. 

26-12-6 all-time in home openers, including 1-0-1 at Barclays Center. 

8 - more years for Sabres center Jack Eichel, who signed an $80-million extension with the team on Tuesday.

THE OPPOSITION: 

The Sabres overhauled their coaching staff and front office over the summer, with Jason Botterill taking over as general manager and Phil Housley being hired as the team's head coach. 

On the ice, the Sabres acquired Jason Pominville, Marco Scandella and Nathan Beaulieu in the offseason, while letting go of Tyler Ennis (trade), Marcus Foligno (trade) and Brian Gionta (free agency) among others. 

The offensive core of the team is largely intact, with Jack Eichel - who signed an eight-year, $80-million contract on Tuesday - Ryan O'Reilly, Kyle Okposo, Evander Kane and defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen all returning in 2017-18. 

Matt Moulson is expected to make his season debut for the Sabres on Saturday after missing the season opener. Zach Bogosian (lower body) is expected to be out while goalie Robin Lehner is first on the depth chart and is likely to start. 

UPDATE: Lehner will start in goal for the Sabres.

SABRES PROJECTED LINES:

FORWARDS
LEFT WING CENTER  RIGHT WING
EVANDER KANE JACK EICHEL JASON POMINVILLE
BENOIT POULIOT RYAN O'REILLY KYLE OKPOSO
ZEMGUS GIRGENSONS SAM REINHART SETH GRIFFITH
JOHAN LARSSON JACOB JOSEFSON MATT MOULSON
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