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Sabres at Devils preview

New Jersey seeks sixth straight victory; Buffalo center Josefson to visit former team for first time

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / Senior Writer

SABRES (9-20-8) at DEVILS (22-9-5)

7 p.m. ET; MSG+, MSG-B, NHL.TV


The Game

The New Jersey Devils will look to sweep a six-game homestand for their longest winning streak this season when they host the Buffalo Sabres at Prudential Center on Friday. 

The Devils, 6-0-1 in their past seven games, have not lost in regulation since a 5-2 defeat at the New York Rangers on Dec. 9. New Jersey is in first place in the Metropolitan Division with 49 points and three games in hand on the Washington Capitals, who also have 49 points.

A six-game winning streak would match the Devils' longest since March 27-April 7, 2012, the final six games of the 2011-12 season.

The Sabres are playing their final game before they face the Rangers in the 2018 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Citi Field on Monday (1 p.m. ET; NBC, SN, TVA Sports, NHL.TV). 

Buffalo has lost five of its past six games (1-3-2), but has points in seven of its past 10 (3-3-4).

Sabres center Jacob Josefson will play his first game in New Jersey as an opponent. He spent his first seven NHL seasons with the Devils.


Players to watch

Sabres center Jack Eichel has five points (two goals, three assists) in a three-game point streak and nine points (five goals, four assists) in his past five games.

Devils forward Taylor Hall has five points (one goal, four assists) in a three-game point streak and leads New Jersey with 36 points (12 goals, 24 assists) in 34 games this season.


They said it

"I have a lot of friends on the [Devils]. Obviously, they won't be friends [Friday], but it's probably going to be a special feeling to play on this ice in a different jersey." -- Sabres center Jacob Josefson

"You have to take advantage of the schedule when it breaks in your favor and I think a six-game homestand is that. That's our focus tonight, finish this strong, because the schedule is unforgiving." -- Devils goaltender Cory Schneider


Sabres projected lineup

Zemgus Girgensons -- Jack Eichel -- Sam Reinhart

Evander Kane -- Ryan O'Reilly -- Kyle Okposo

Benoit Pouliot -- Evan Rodrigues -- Jason Pominville

Johan Larsson -- Jacob Josefson -- Jordan Nolan

Marco Scandella -- Rasmus Ristolainen

Jake McCabe -- Zach Bogosian

Nathan Beaulieu -- Justin Falk

Robin Lehner

Chad Johnson

Scratched: Scott Wilson, Josh Gorges, Victor Antipin

Injured: Taylor Fedun (lower body)


Devils projected lineup

Taylor Hall -- Nico Hischier -- Jesper Bratt

Marcus Johansson -- Travis Zajac -- Kyle Palmieri

Blake Coleman -- Brian Boyle -- Brian Gibbons

Miles Wood -- Pavel Zacha -- Stefan Noesen

Andy Greene -- Steven Santini

John Moore -- Sami Vatanen

Will Butcher -- Damon Severson

Cory Schneider

Keith Kinkaid

Scratched: Ben Lovejoy, Jimmy Hayes, Drew Stafford

Injured: Mirco Mueller (clavicle)


Status report

Schneider will make his season-high eighth consecutive start. He is 6-0-1 with a .937 save percentage in his past seven starts. … The Sabres didn't hold a morning skate. 


Stat pack

The Devils are tied for fourth in the NHL with 37 first-period goals. The Sabres are last with 15. 

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