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game preview

Sabres at Senators preview

Eichel eyes point in 19th straight game played for Buffalo; Anderson to start for Ottawa

by Callum Fraser / Independent Correspondent

SABRES (17-13-7) at SENATORS (15-18-4)

7:30 p.m. ET; RDS2, TSN5, MSG-B, NHL.TV


The Game

Jack Eichel can become the first player in Buffalo Sabres history to have a point in 19 consecutive games played when they visit the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre.

The center has 32 points (16 goals, 16 assists) in his past 18 games; Gilbert Perreault had an 18-game point streak for the Sabres from Oct. 24-Dec. 4, 1971.

Eichel's run is not officially recognized by the NHL as a point streak because he missed Buffalo's 6-1 loss at the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday with a lower-body injury.

Goalie Linus Ullmark will start for the Sabres, 1-2-1 in their past four games after a three-game winning streak.

Goalie Craig Anderson will make his first start for the Senators since sustaining a lower-body injury on Dec. 7. He missed six games and dressed as the backup in a 5-4 shootout loss to the Flyers on Saturday.

Ottawa is 4-2-3 in its past nine games following a five-game losing streak.


Players to watch

Sabres forward Victor Olofsson has eight points (four goals, four assists) in a six-game point streak.

Senators forward Anthony Duclair has 15 points (11 goals, four assists) in his past 10 games.


They said it

"He's definitely a goal-scoring threat that we're aware of, but we usually take care of our defense by committee, and I think that's important. Eliminate their time in our zone and it'll be difficult for him to score." -- Sabres coach Ralph Krueger on defending Ottawa forward Anthony Duclair

"What I saw in Buffalo the last time we played them, [Eichel's] speed and that ability might be the best I've seen since I've been around the NHL in the last five years. … You're going to have to make him go through all five guys every time if you want to shut him down." -- Senators coach D.J. Smith on defending Buffalo center Jack Eichel


Sabres projected lineup

Victor Olofsson -- Jack Eichel -- Sam Reinhart

Jeff Skinner -- Marcus Johansson -- Jimmy Vesey

Zemgus Girgensons -- Curtis Lazar -- Kyle Okposo

Rasmus Asplund -- Evan Rodrigues

Jake McCabe -- Rasmus Ristolainen

Rasmus Dahlin -- Zach Bogosian

Marco Scandella -- Henri Jokiharju

Brandon Montour

Linus Ullmark

Carter Hutton

Scratched: Conor Sheary, Colin Miller

Injured: Johan Larsson (lower body), Tage Thompson (upper body), Vladimir Sobotka (lower body)


Senators projected lineup

Brady Tkachuk -- Jean-Gabriel Pageau -- Connor Brown

Vladislav Namestnikov -- Artem Anisimov -- Tyler Ennis

Nick Paul -- Chris Tierney -- Anthony Duclair

Logan Brown -- J.C. Beaudin -- Colin White

Thomas Chabot -- Cody Goloubef

Mark Borowiecki -- Erik Brannstrom

Maxime Lajoie -- Andreas Englund

Craig Anderson

Marcus Hogberg

Scratched: Mikkel Boedker

Injured: Scott Sabourin (illness), Dylan DeMelo (finger), Nikita Zaitsev (undisclosed), Anders Nilsson (concussion), Ron Hainsey (undisclosed)


Status report

The Sabres could dress 11 forwards and seven defensemen; that will be a game-time decision, Krueger said. … Sabourin was supposed to play his first game since sustaining a facial injury on Nov. 2, but the forward will sit out because of the flu.


Stat pack

Eichel has 23 points (nine goals, 14 assists) in 14 games against Ottawa. … Duclair, with 11 goals in December, needs two to tie the Senators record for goals in a month, set by Daniel Alfredsson (13) in November 2005.

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