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Sabres at Rangers preview

Dahlin returns from injury for Buffalo; New York seeks fourth win in five games

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / Senior Writer

SABRES (23-23-8) at RANGERS (26-22-4)



The Game

Rasmus Dahlin will return to the lineup for the Buffalo Sabres against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Friday.

Dahlin, a 19-year-old defenseman who was the No. 1 pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, missed the past two games with an upper-body injury sustained in a 2-1 overtime win against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday. He skated with defenseman Zach Bogosian and forward Rasmus Asplund, two of Buffalo's likely scratches, Friday morning to make sure he felt 100 percent. Dahlin said afterward that he would be in the lineup. Buffalo will dress seven defensemen and 11 forwards.

The Sabres lost 4-3 in a shootout at home to the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday. They are 1-4-1 since Jan. 18 and are 10 points behind the Florida Panthers for third place in the Atlantic Division.

Alexandar Georgiev will make his first start in goal for the Rangers since Jan. 21.

The Rangers have won three of their past four games, and they're coming off a 5-3 victory against the Toronto Maple Leafs at home on Wednesday. They are nine points behind the Carolina Hurricanes, who hold the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference.


Players to watch

Sabres forward Evan Rodrigues has two goals in his past three games and four in his past seven.

Rangers forward Pavel Buchnevich has scored a goal in four of his past five games.


They said it

"It's pretty weird to say I feel confident when we're losing, but for myself I feel pretty confident. Of course I want to play a bigger role and I want to be a leader, but I'm just 19 so it takes time. But where I'm at now, I feel confident." -- Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin

"You look around the NHL in the last couple of years, a lot of the teams that make the playoffs have one really, really good run, it seems. Whether it's the beginning of the year or the end of the year, whatever. And we haven't had ours yet." -- Rangers forward Ryan Strome


Sabres projected lineup

Jimmy Vesey -- Jack Eichel -- Sam Reinhart

Conor Sheary -- Marcus Johansson -- Michael Frolik

Jeff Skinner -- Curtis Lazar -- Evan Rodrigues

Zemgus Girgensons -- Johan Larsson

Lawrence Pilut -- Rasmus Ristolainen

Rasmus Dahlin -- Brandon Montour

Jake McCabe -- Henri Jokiharju

Colin Miller

Carter Hutton

Jonas Johansson

Scratched: Zach Bogosian, Rasmus Asplund, Scott Wilson

Injured: Kyle Okposo (upper body), Linus Ullmark (lower body), Victor Olofsson (lower body), Tage Thompson (upper body), Vladimir Sobotka (lower body)


Rangers projected lineup

Chris Kreider -- Mika Zibanejad -- Pavel Buchnevich

Artemi Panarin -- Ryan Strome -- Jesper Fast

Brendan Lemieux -- Filip Chytil -- Kaapo Kakko

Brett Howden -- Greg McKegg -- Phillip Di Giuseppe

Brady Skjei -- Jacob Trouba

Marc Staal -- Tony DeAngelo

Ryan Lindgren -- Adam Fox

Alexandar Georgiev

Henrik Lundqvist

Scratched: Micheal Haley, Igor Shesterkin, Brendan Smith

Injured: None


Status report

Other than Dahlin, none of the Sabres players expected to be in the lineup skated Friday morning. … The Rangers will dress the same lineup they used in the win against Toronto.


Stat pack

This is Buffalo's only road game in a 10-game stretch from Jan. 28-Feb. 16. … Kreider has three goals and three assists during a four-game point streak.

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