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Sabres at Penguins preview

Buffalo seeks fourth win in five games; Pittsburgh is 12-4-1 in past 17

by Wes Crosby / Independent Correspondent

SABRES (27-25-8) at PENGUINS (37-16-6)



The Game

The Pittsburgh Penguins will try for their 13th win in 18 games when they host the Buffalo Sabres at PPG Paints Arena on Saturday.

Pittsburgh is 12-4-1 in its past 17 games, and 20-6-2 in its past 28. The Penguins are tied with the Washington Capitals, who host Pittsburgh at Capital One Arena on Sunday, for first place in the Metropolitan Division.

Forward Dominik Kahun will be a game-time decision for the Penguins after a shot from Toronto Maple Leafs forward Denis Malgin  hit his left leg in a 4-0 loss on Thursday. He did not practice Friday.

The Sabres have won three of their past four games and are 5-3-1 in their past nine after going 3-5-0 in their previous eight. The teams haven't played since Buffalo won 3-1 in Pittsburgh on Oct. 3 in the season opener for each.


Players to watch

Sabres center Jack Eichel has two goals and seven assists during a six-game point streak.

Penguins center Sidney Crosby has 23 points (seven goals, 16 assists) in 14 games since returning from core muscle surgery. He needs two assists for 800 in the NHL.


They said it

"The margin for error, I agree, it's very, very small. What we need to do is just take care of details." -- Sabres coach Ralph Krueger

"We need to be stingier. … I don't think we've controlled territory as much as we're capable of over the last few weeks." -- Penguins coach Mike Sullivan


Sabres projected lineup

Victor Olofsson -- Jack Eichel -- Sam Reinhart

Jeff Skinner -- Curtis Lazar -- Michael Frolik

Jimmy Vesey -- Marcus Johansson -- Conor Sheary

Zemgus Girgensons -- Johan Larsson -- Kyle Okposo

Rasmus Dahlin -- Colin Miller

Brandon Montour -- Rasmus Ristolainen

Jake McCabe -- Henri Jokiharju

Carter Hutton

Jonas Johansson

Scratched : John Gilmour, Scott Wilson, Evan Rodrigues

Injured: Linus Ullmark (lower body), Tage Thompson (shoulder), Vladimir Sobotka (knee)


Penguins projected lineup

Jason Zucker -- Sidney Crosby -- Dominik Simon

Anthony Angello -- Evgeni Malkin -- Bryan Rust

Jared McCann -- Andrew Agozzino -- Patric Hornqvist

Brandon Tanev -- Teddy Blueger -- Sam Lafferty

Jack Johnson -- Kris Letang

Marcus Pettersson -- Justin Schultz

Juuso Riikola -- Chad Ruhwedel

Tristan Jarry

Matt Murray

Scratched : Zach Trotman

Injured : Nick Bjugstad (core muscle surgery), Brian Dumoulin (ankle surgery), Jake Guentzel (shoulder surgery), John Marino (facial surgery), Zach Aston-Reese (lower body), Dominik Kahun (undisclosed)


Status report

Frolik is expected to play after missing the past two games with an illness. … The Sabres placed defenseman Zach Bogosian on unconditional waivers Friday with the intention of terminating his contract. … Angello replaced Kahun at second-line left wing during practice Friday.


Stat pack

Dahlin has one goal and five assists during a five-game point streak. … Olofsson has three goals and three assists during a four-game point streak. … Jarry is 13-3-1 with a 2.27 goals-against average and .926 save percentage in his past 17 starts.

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