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Sabres at Canucks preview

Buffalo goes for third straight win; goaltender Markstrom starts for Vancouver

by Kevin Woodley / Correspondent

SABRES (13-26-9) at CANUCKS (19-23-6)

10 p.m. ET; SNP, MSG-B, NHL.TV


The Game

The Buffalo Sabres will try to win three straight games for the first time this season when they play the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena on Thursday.

The Sabres are coming off back-to-back wins in Alberta, defeating the Calgary Flames 2-1 in overtime on Monday and the Edmonton Oilers 5-0 on Tuesday. It is the second time that the Sabres have won consecutive games this season. Before the back-to-back wins, they were 1-6-1 in their previous eight games.

Vancouver opened a five-game homestand with a 6-2 win against the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday. It was their third victory in five games after going 1-7-2 in their previous 10.


Players to watch

Sabres forward Jack Eichel had four points (one goal, three assists) against the Oilers. He has five goals and nine assists during a seven-game point streak.

Canucks forward Thomas Vanek has 17 points (seven goals, 10 assists) in his past 14 games, including a goal and two assists Tuesday playing on a new line with Bo Horvat and Loui Eriksson.


They said it

"We weren't happy with the game against Dallas at home and responding with two road wins back to back is a tough task but I thought we did a great job." -- Sabres forward Evander Kane on consecutive wins after a 7-1 home loss to the Dallas Stars on Saturday

"I just think we were excited to play with each other. I haven't played with that combination this year and I talked to both of them before the game and all of us were ready to go off the start and I think that showed." -- Canucks center Bo Horvat, who combined with Vanek and Eriksson for three goals in the first 5:49 against the Kings


Sabres projected lineup

Zemgus Girgensons -- Jack Eichel -- Kyle Okposo

Scott Wilson -- Ryan O'Reilly -- Sam Reinhart

Evander Kane -- Johan Larsson -- Jason Pominville

Benoit Pouliot -- Evan Rodrigues -- Nicholas Baptiste

Marco Scandella -- Rasmus Ristolainen

Jake McCabe -- Victor Antipin

Justin Falk -- Casey Nelson

Robin Lehner

Chad Johnson

Scratched: Jordan Nolan

Injured: Zach Bogosian (lower body), Josh Gorges (illness), Nathan Beaulieu (undisclosed)


Canucks projected lineup

Daniel Sedin -- Henrik Sedin -- Brock Boeser

Loui Eriksson -- Bo Horvat -- Thomas Vanek

Sam Gagner -- Nic Dowd -- Jake Virtanen

Sven Baertschi -- Brandon Sutter -- Markus Granlund

Alexander Edler -- Troy Stecher

Ben Hutton -- Christopher Tanev

Michael Del Zotto -- Alex Biega

Jacob Markstrom

Anders Nilsson

Scratched: Brendan Gaunce , Derrick Pouliot

Injured: Erik Gudbranson (back)


Status report

Baptiste returns to the fourth line after being a healthy scratch against Edmonton in place of Nolan. Gorges skated but will miss a third straight game with illness. … Gudbranson skated but remains day to day; there is still no timeline for his return.


Stat pack

Ristolainen has one goal and four assists) in a four-game point streak, and 12 points (three goals, nine assists) in his past 11 games. … Edler has eight points (one goal, seven assists) in his past seven games.

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