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Sabres at Flames preview

Eichel can tie NHL career-best 11-game point streak for Buffalo; Calgary shuffles line combinations

by Aaron Vickers / Independent Correspondent

SABRES (13-10-5) at FLAMES (13-12-4)

9 p.m. ET; SNW, MSG-B, NHL.TV


The Game

Jack Eichel will try to match an NHL career-best 11-game point streak when the Buffalo Sabres visit the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome on Thursday.

The center and Sabres captain has 19 points (nine goals, 10 assists) in a 10-game point streak, the longest active in the NHL. An 11-game point streak would equal Eichel's longest in the League, set Feb. 14-March 7, 2017.

Buffalo is 2-0-2 in its past four games after going 2-8-2 in its previous 12.

The Flames, 3-0-1 in their past four games following a six-game winless streak (0-5-1), will shuffle their top three lines. Elias Lindholm will center Matthew Tkachuk and Andrew Mangiapane, Mikael Backlund will play between Sean Monahan and Dillon Dube, and Derek Ryan will play at center with Milan Lucic and Johnny Gaudreau. 


Players to watch

Sabres forward Victor Olofsson has eight points (four goals, four assists) in his past eight games. 

Tkachuk has four points (one goal, three assists) in a three-game point streak and is two points from 200 in the NHL. 


They said it

"Every team in the NHL understands the parity. Every team knows that there's not a night off in this league. Every day we want to get better. We've got some things we want to work on today and we'll find things we'll get better at right through April 4." -- Sabres coach Ralph Krueger

"We've got to find more ways to score more goals throughout our lineup. We've got to find more ways to be harder away from the puck. We've got lots of things we need to work on as a group, and for us the changes in the lineup is more so from that focus as opposed to just trying to get one or two players going." -- Flames coach Geoff Ward


Sabres projected lineup

Victor Olofsson -- Jack Eichel -- Sam Reinhart

Casey Mittelstadt -- Marcus Johansson -- Jimmy Vesey

Jeff Skinner -- Johan Larsson -- Conor Sheary

Zemgus Girgensons -- Rasmus Asplund -- Evan Rodrigues

Brandon Montour -- Rasmus Ristolainen

Marco Scandella -- Henri Jokiharju

Colin Miller -- Zach Bogosian

Linus Ullmark

Carter Hutton

Scratched: Jake McCabe

Injured: Rasmus Dahlin (concussion), Evan Rodrigues (lower body), Kyle Okposo (concussion), Tage Thompson (upper body), Vladimir Sobotka (lower body)


Flames projected lineup

Matthew Tkachuk -- Elias Lindholm -- Andrew Mangiapane

Sean Monahan -- Mikael Backlund -- Dillon Dube

Milan Lucic -- Derek Ryan -- Johnny Gaudreau 

Tobias Rieder -- Mark Jankowski -- Michael Frolik

Mark Giordano -- TJ Brodie

Noah Hanifin -- Travis Hamonic

Oliver Kylington -- Rasmus Andersson

David Rittich

Cam Talbot

Scratched: Zac Rinaldo, Michael Stone

Injured: Sam Bennett (upper body), Austin Czarnik (lower body)


Status report

The Sabres did not hold a morning skate, and the Flames held an optional morning skate. … Buffalo will decided on its lineup following warmups. … Rodrigues could return after missing five games because of a lower-body injury. … Hamonic will return after missing six games because of a lower-body injury. 


Stat pack

Ullmark is 3-0-1 with a 2.49 goals-against average and .932 save percentage in his past four starts. … Monahan has 15 points (six goals, nine assists) in 13 games against Buffalo. … Rieder will play his 400th NHL game.

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