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Preview: Ducks at Sabres

Buffalo's Zemgus Girgensons out with injury; Anaheim tries to end three-game slide

by Joe Yerdon / Correspondent

DUCKS (28-17-10) at SABRES (22-21-10)


Ducks team scope

The Anaheim Ducks will try to avoid a four-game losing streak after going 0-2-1 and scoring four goals to start a six-game road trip. "Right now, it's an opportunity for us in the middle of this road trip with the way it's gone and offensively being a little bit challenged, we need to at least do something to mix it up," assistant Paul MacLean said, "and find something else that might be there instead of being set in our ways, and this is the way it's going to be, keep going forward and forward. There might be something there we haven't seen, and this is an opportunity with some of the time we spend in the room with the bingo balls, this is an opportunity for us to see if something might be there." Anaheim is coming off a 4-1 loss at the New York Rangers on Tuesday, despite having 44 shots on goal. "I think we did a lot of really good things the last game," center Nate Thompson said. "I thought we controlled the game for the most part, we had a ton of shots. We held them to under 20 shots and if we can do that again, I like our chances." Anaheim is four points behind the San Jose Sharks for first place in the Pacific Division, tied for second with the Edmonton Oilers.

Sabres team scope

The Buffalo Sabres will be without center Zemgus Girgensons and may also be without left wing Evander Kane. Girgensons will not play because of a mid-body injury, and Kane is a game-time decision because of a hand injury sustained when he crashed into the end boards following his game-winning goal in a 5-4 overtime comeback win against the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday. "It's an important time of the season and I felt better than I thought I would," Kane said. "I want to be out there as much as anybody else does. For me, I felt good this morning, I feel like I can contribute tonight, hopefully, and I'm just looking forward to another big game." The Sabres recalled forwards Evan Rodrigues and Derek Grant from Rochester of the American Hockey Leagueyesd. Grant was reclaimed on waivers by the Sabres from the Nashville Predators on Monday. "[Grant] being able to take draws in the pivot position would be an opportunity to use more of a four-line rotation," coach Dan Bylsma said. "With Zemgus going out, [we're] definitely looking for a penalty killer to go into our lineup." Grant had three assists in 35 games with the Sabres and one assist in three games with the Predators.

Ducks projected lineup

Antoine Vermette -- Ryan Getzlaf -- Jakob Silfverberg

Nick Ritchie -- Rickard Rakell -- Corey Perry

Andrew Cogliano -- Ryan Kesler -- Logan Shaw

Joseph Cramarossa -- Nate Thompson -- Jared Boll

Cam Fowler -- Brandon Montour

Hampus Lindholm -- Josh Manson

Shea Theodore -- Kevin Bieksa

John Gibson

Jonathan Bernier

Scratched: Ondrej Kase, Korbinian Holzer

Injured: Sami Vatanen (lower body), Clayton Stoner (lower body), Simon Despres (upper body)


Sabres projected lineup

Sam Reinhart -- Ryan O'Reilly -- Kyle Okposo

Marcus Foligno -- Jack Eichel -- Tyler Ennis

Justin Bailey -- Evan Rodrigues -- Brian Gionta

Nicolas Deslauriers -- Derek Grant -- Matt Moulson

Dmitry Kulikov -- Rasmus Ristolainen

Jake McCabe -- Cody Franson

Josh Gorges -- Justin Falk

Robin Lehner

Anders Nilsson

Scratched: Taylor Fedun

Injured: Evander Kane (hand), Zemgus Girgensons (mid-body), William Carrier (knee), Zach Bogosian (rib), Johan Larsson (wrist)

Status report

Ducks coach Randy Carlyle did not attend the morning skate, remaining at Anaheim's hotel because of an illness.

Who's hot

Silfverberg has five points (three goals, two assists) in his past four games. … Kane has nine points (four goals, five assists) in his past eight games. Ennis has four points (one goal, three assists) in a four-game point streak. Eichel has four assists in his past three games.

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