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Sabres at Predators preview

Buffalo center Eichel can extend point streak to 10 games; Nashville 3-6-1 in past 10

by Robby Stanley / Independent Correspondent

SABRES (22-19-7) at PREDATORS (21-18-7)

8 p.m. ET; FS-TN, MSG-B, NHL.TV


The Game

Jack Eichel will try to extend his point streak to 10 games when the Buffalo Sabres visit the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena on Saturday.

The center has 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in a nine-game point streak, the longest active streak in the NHL. 

The Sabres look to win their fourth consecutive game, which would mark their longest winning streak this season.

The Predators, who have lost two straight, are 3-6-1 in their past 10 games after going 6-2-2 in their previous 10. They're 2-3-0 since hiring John Hynes as coach on Jan. 7.


Players to watch

Sabres forward Sam Reinhart has nine points (four goals, five assists) in his past seven games.

Predators defenseman Roman Josi has 21 points (seven goals, 14 assists) in his past 15 games.


They said it

"We play very strong now in the third period. When it's like 10 minutes left, we tell ourselves that we don't let them score. That's the mindset we have." -- Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin on playing with the lead

"It's definitely something new. In the last five or six years I've been here, maybe except for my first year, we've always been in a playoff spot. I mean, we've had tougher stretches, but I feel like they've been pretty limited, maybe three, four, five games at the most. We've had a little bit more of that this year. … We know every game now is critical and really huge." -- Predators defenseman Mattias Ekholm


Sabres projected lineup

Jimmy Vesey -- Jack Eichel -- Sam Reinhart

Marcus Johansson -- Curtis Lazar -- Michael Frolik

Zemgus Girgensons -- Johan Larsson -- Kyle Okposo

Rasmus Asplund -- Evan Rodrigues -- Conor Sheary

Brandon Montour -- Rasmus Ristolainen

Lawrence Pilut -- Henri Jokiharju

Rasmus Dahlin -- Zach Bogosian

Linus Ullmark

Carter Hutton

Scratched: Jake McCabe, Scott Wilson, Colin Miller

Injured: Victor Olofsson (lower body), Jeff Skinner (upper body), Tage Thompson (shoulder surgery), Vladimir Sobotka (lower body)


Predators projected lineup

Calle Jarnkrok -- Ryan Johansen -- Craig Smith

Filip Forsberg -- Matt Duchene -- Mikael Granlund

Rocco Grimaldi -- Nick Bonino -- Viktor Arvidsson

Austin Watson -- Kyle Turris -- Colin Blackwell

Roman Josi -- Yannick Weber

Mattias Ekholm -- Dante Fabbro

Dan Hamhuis -- Matt Irwin

Pekka Rinne

Juuse Saros

Scratched: None

Injured: Colton Sissons (lower body), Ryan Ellis (upper body)


Status report

There's a chance Skinner, a forward, could return after the all-star break, Sabres coach Ralph Kruger said. … The Predators did not hold a morning skate.


Stat pack

Eichel has 11 points (five goals, six assists) in nine games against Nashville. … Rinne, expected to start, is 6-2-0 with a 1.82 goals-against average, .942 save percentage and three shutouts in eight games against Buffalo.


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