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game preview

Sabres at Lightning preview

Buffalo looking for consecutive wins for first time since October; Tampa Bay will be without Stamkos

by Corey Long / Independent Correspondent

SABRES (11-9-3) at LIGHTNING (11-7-2)

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


The Game

The Buffalo Sabres will try to win consecutive games for the first time in more than a month when they play the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena on Monday.

Buffalo is coming off a 5-2 win against the Florida Panthers on Sunday after going 1-7-2 in its previous 10 games. The Sabres have not won consecutive games since a three-game winning streak from Oct. 17-22. 

Tampa Bay, which has won two in a row and is 5-2-0 in its past seven games, will be without captain Steven Stamkos, who will miss his second straight game because of a lower-body injury. Coach Jon Cooper said Stamkos is day to day.

Tampa Bay won both games against Buffalo in the 2019 NHL Global Series in Stockholm, Sweden, earlier this month.


Players to watch

Sabres forward Jack Eichel has 10 points (six goals, four assists) during a five-game point streak.

Lightning forward Anthony Cirelli has scored in each of his past four games and has seven points (four goals, three assists) during that span.


They said it

"We had multiple meetings since the Boston game (3-2 loss on Nov. 21) and I never felt anybody lose spirit or lose confidence in what we're doing here. That's one of the reasons the group was able to step up [against the Panthers]." -- Sabres coach Ralph Krueger 

"That's how you've got to play to win games. You've got to go to the greasy areas and win puck battles. We skated really well (in a 6-2 win against the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday). … Hopefully it's something we learned from and we can do it again tonight." -- Lightning forward Brayden Point


Sabres projected lineup

Victor Olofsson -- Jack Eichel -- Sam Reinhart

Jeff Skinner -- Casey Mittelstadt -- Conor Sheary

Jimmy Vesey -- Rasmus Asplund -- Zemgus Girgensons

Curtis Lazar -- Johan Larsson -- Brandon Montour

Jake McCabe -- Rasmus Ristolainen

Rasmus Dahlin -- Zach Bogosian

Marco Scandella -- Henri Jokiharju

Carter Hutton

Linus Ullmark

Scratched: Colin Miller, Jean-Sebastien Dea

Injured: Matt Hunwick (neck), Evan Rodrigues (lower body), Vladimir Sobotka (lower body), Marcus Johansson (upper body), Kyle Okposo (concussion), Tage Thompson (upper body)


Lightning projected lineup

Ondrej Palat -- Brayden Point -- Nikita Kucherov

Carter Verhaeghe -- Tyler Johnson -- Cory Conacher

Alex Killorn -- Anthony Cirelli -- Mathieu Joseph

Pat Maroon -- Cedric Paquette -- Yanni Gourde

Victor Hedman -- Kevin Shattenkirk 

Ryan McDonagh -- Erik Cernak 

Mikhail Sergachev -- Jan Rutta

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Curtis McElhinney

Scratched: Luke Schenn, Braydon Coburn

Injured: Steven Stamkos (lower body)


Status report

The Lightning have dressed seven defensemen the past two games and if they do so again, Coburn will likely slot in for Conacher. ... Krueger said Rodrigues will be evaluated when they return to Buffalo. … Dea was recalled from Rochester of the American Hockey League this morning.


Stat pack

Hedman has 11 points (two goals, nine assists) during a seven-game point streak. …Olofsson has recorded a point in seven of his past eight games (two goals, five assists). … Killorn has 10 points (three goals, seven assists) during a seven-game point streak.

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