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Sabres at Panthers preview

Yandle in lineup for Florida; Bogosian expected to make season debut for Buffalo

by Alain Poupart / Independent Correspondent

SABRES (10-9-3) at PANTHERS (12-6-5)



The Game

Keith Yandle, who holds the longest current games played streak in the NHL, is expected to play for the Florida Panthers against the Buffalo Sabres at BB&T Center on Sunday.

The defenseman, who has played in 820 consecutive games, had dental work done Sunday after he played the third period of a 4-2 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday with a cage on his mask. Yandle was hit in the face by a puck in the first period and missed the second period. He has not missed a game since March 22, 2009 when he was with the Arizona Coyotes.

Sabres defenseman Zach Bogosian could make his season debut after having offseason hip surgery. Bogosian practiced Saturday and Coach Ralph Krueger said he likely would play Sunday or against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday.

Buffalo has lost its past three games in regulation and is 1-7-2 in its past 10 games.


Players to watch

Sabres center Jack Eichel has five goals and two assists during his current four-game point streak.

Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad was involved in four consecutive goals (three goals, one assist) against the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday and Carolina on Saturday, the longest streak for a Panthers defenseman since Nov. 9-14, 1997 (Robert Svehla).


They said it

"We were extremely disappointed after how the result played out in Boston, but what can you see is the guys understand that we don't need to be disappointed with the process that was shown there and that we need to stick with that and you could feel that energy today." -- Sabres coach Ralph Krueger

"It's part of being a pro, back-to-backs all the time. We've got to find a way to be a little better (today). Ten percent [more] from each guy and we're going to be fine." -- Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad


Sabres projected lineup

Jimmy Vesey -- Jack Eichel -- Sam Reinhart

Jeff Skinner -- Evan Rodrigues -- Conor Sheary

Zemgus Girgensons -- Johan Larsson -- Curtis Lazar

Victor Olofsson -- Casey Mittelstadt -- Rasmus Asplund

Jake McCabe -- Rasmus Ristolainen

Colin Miller -- Brandon Montour

Rasmus Dahlin -- Zach Bogosian

Carter Hutton

Linus Ullmark

Scratched: Marco Scandella, Henri Jokiharju

Injured: Matt Hunwick (neck), Vladimir Sobotka (lower body), Marcus Johansson (upper body), Kyle Okposo (concussion), Tage Thompson (upper body)


Panthers projected lineup

Jonathan Huberdeau -- Aleksander Barkov -- Evgenii Dadonov

Frank Vatrano -- Vincent Trocheck -- Brett Connolly

Dominic Toninato -- Denis Malgin -- Mike Hoffman

Brian Boyle -- Noel Acciari -- Colton Sceviour

Keith Yandle -- Aaron Ekblad

Mark Pysyk -- Anton Stralman

Mike Matheson -- Josh Brown

Sam Montembeault

Sergei Bobrovsky

Scratched: Riley Stillman

Injured: Jayce Hawryluk (upper body), MacKenzie Weegar (upper body)


Status report

Bogosian, who was activated from injured reserve Thursday, skated on a pairing with Dahlin on Saturday. ... The Sabres assigned defenseman John Gilmour to Rochester of the American Hockey League on Saturday. … Montembeault is expected to start the second half of a back-to-back after Bobrovsky started each of the past six games. ... Stillman was recalled from Springfield of the American Hockey League on Sunday.


Stat pack

Buffalo, which defeated Florida 3-2 in a shootout Oct. 11, has not won consecutive games in the series in the past 32 games since a three-game winning streak from Feb. 10 to Oct. 20, 2011. … Florida is averaging four goals per game in its 10 home games and hasn't scored fewer than three in any of them.

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