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Sabres at Blackhawks preview

Chicago eyes fourth straight win; Hutton expected to start for Buffalo

by Scott King / Independent Correspondent

SABRES (10-6-3) at BLACKHAWKS (8-7-4)



The Game

The Chicago Blackhawks will look to win their fourth straight game when they host the Buffalo Sabres at United Center on Sunday.

Chicago, which has scored 17 goals during a season-long three-game winning streak, is 5-1-1 in its past seven games after going 1-4-2 in its previous seven. 

The Blackhawks won 7-2 at the Nashville Predators on Saturday.

Chicago forward Patrick Kane has 16 points (seven goals, nine assists) in an eight-game point streak. 

Buffalo ended a six-game winless streak (0-4-2) with a 4-2 victory against the Ottawa Senators on Saturday. Center Jack Eichel scored all four goals for the Sabres. 

Goalie Carter Hutton is expected to start for Buffalo and appear in his 200th NHL game. He made his first NHL start with Chicago on April 27, 2013, at St. Louis. 


Players to watch

Blackhawks rookie center Kirby Dach has four points (two goals, two assists) in a three-game point streak, his first multipoint streak in the NHL. 

Sabres forward Victor Olofsson has four points (one goal, three assists) in a four-game point streak. 


They said it

"[The Blackhawks] gave me a really good opportunity in Rockford [of the American Hockey League] there. ... Getting a chance in Rockford, I really got a chance to play and develop and show I could be an American League goalie. Then obviously Chicago giving me a chance to play in the NHL. They were really good to me when I was there and then from there, moving on. It's something pretty exciting, a lot of people there I'm grateful for so it'll be a fun night for me, for sure." -- Sabres goalie Carter Hutton on making his 200th NHL start in Chicago 

"We've had a good stretch where we've been getting points and we want to extend it. I think that's what teams that end up where they want to [be], they extend those positive runs, they ride the wave so to speak. So that'll be our focus going into [Sunday]." -- Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton


Sabres projected lineup

Victor Olofsson -- Jack Eichel -- Sam Reinhart

Jeff Skinner -- Evan Rodrigues -- Conor Sheary

Jimmy Vesey -- Casey Mittelstadt -- Curtis Lazar

Zemgus Girgensons -- Rasmus Asplund -- Tage Thompson

Jake McCabe -- Rasmus Ristolainen

Rasmus Dahlin -- Brandon Montour

Marco Scandella -- Henri Jokiharju

Carter Hutton

Linus Ullmark

Scratched: Colin Miller, John Gilmour

Injured: Johan Larsson (upper body), Vladimir Sobotka (lower body), Marcus Johansson (upper body), Zach Bogosian (hip), Kyle Okposo (undisclosed)


Blackhawks projected lineup

Alex Nylander -- Jonathan Toews -- Brandon Saad

Alex DeBrincat -- Dylan Strome -- Patrick Kane

Ryan Carpenter -- David Kampf -- Dominik Kubalik

Zack Smith -- Kirby Dach -- Andrew Shaw

Duncan Keith -- Connor Murphy

Calvin de Haan -- Brent Seabrook

Olli Maatta -- Erik Gustafsson

Corey Crawford

Robin Lehner

Scratched: Slater Koekkoek

Injured: Drake Caggiula (concussion protocol)


Status report

The Sabres recalled Thompson from Rochester of the American Hockey League after Okposo left the game Saturday. ... Crawford is expected to start after Lehner made 39 saves in the win at Nashville.


Stat pack

Seabrook will play his 1,100th NHL game. ... Kane needs three assists for 600 in the NHL. … Eichel has six points (five goals, one assist) in his past three games.

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