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Sabres at Blues preview

Frolik to make debut with Buffalo; St. Louis goes for seventh straight home win

by Louie Korac / Independent Correspondent

SABRES (19-17-7) at BLUES (27-10-7)

8 p.m. ET; SN1, SNE, SNO, FS-MW, MSG-B, NHL.TV


The Game

Michael Frolik will make his Buffalo Sabres debut against the St. Louis Blues at Enterprise Center on Thursday.

The forward, who has 10 points (five goals, five assists) in 38 games this season, was acquired in a trade with the Calgary Flames on Jan. 2 for a fourth-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft.

The Sabres have won two straight after a four-game losing streak.

The Blues defeated the San Jose Sharks 3-2 on Tuesday to begin a season-long, five-game homestand. St. Louis has won six straight on home ice and is tied for third in the NHL with 14 home wins.


Players to watch

Sabres center Jack Eichel has four points (two goals, two assists) in a four-game point streak and has a point in 22 of his past 24 games (18 goals, 18 assists).

Blues forward David Perron has 14 points (six goals, eight assists) in his past 10 games.


They said it

"Michael Frolik is an excellent penalty killer who brings us real confidence and experience there that will help us get those feet here and there. Not only through the way he plays but the way he can influence others to play. So we're looking forward to him improving our penalty-killing game." -- Sabres coach Ralph Krueger

"I think we've been talking about that since last year, getting back on track for teams (that) don't want to get in here and play against us. We're on the right track right now and we need to keep building on how we've been playing at home." -- Blues forward Oskar Sundqvist


Sabres projected lineup

Rasmus Asplund -- Jack Eichel -- Sam Reinhart

Michael Frolik -- Marcus Johansson -- Conor Sheary

Zemgus Girgensons -- Johan Larsson -- Kyle Okposo

Jimmy Vesey -- Curtis Lazar

Lawrence Pilut -- Rasmus Ristolainen

Rasmus Dahlin -- Colin Miller

Brandon Montour -- Henri Jokiharju

Zach Bogosian

Linus Ullmark

Carter Hutton

Scratched: Scott Wilson, Evan Rodrigues

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


Blues projected lineup

Jaden Schwartz -- Brayden Schenn -- Jordan Kyrou

Zach Sanford -- Ryan O'Reilly -- David Perron

Alexander Steen -- Robert Thomas -- Tyler Bozak

Mackenzie MacEachern -- Ivan Barbashev -- Oskar Sundqvist

Vince Dunn -- Alex Pietrangelo

Jay Bouwmeester -- Justin Faulk

Niko Mikkola -- Robert Bortuzzo

Jordan Binnington

Jake Allen

Scratched: Troy Brouwer, Jacob de la Rose

Injured: Vladimir Tarasenko (shoulder), Carl Gunnarsson (arm), Sammy Blais (wrist), Colton Parayko (upper body)


Status report

The Sabres could dress 11 forwards and seven defensemen. If they do, Wilson is expected to be the healthy scratch. ... Gunnarsson took part in the morning skate but the defenseman will miss his 12th straight game. … Parayko practiced Thursday but the defenseman will miss his third straight game.


Stat pack

Johansson has six points (one goal, five assists) in a four-game point streak. ... Schwartz has 13 points (five goals, eight assists) in his past 10 games. ... The Blues have a seven-game home winning streak against the Sabres and are 12-2-1 in their past 15 games against them.

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