HURRICANES (26-21-6) at SABRES (26-20-6)
7 p.m. ET; MSG-B, FS-SE, NHL.TV
The Carolina Hurricanes look for their 12th win in 17 games when they visit the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center on Thursday.
The Hurricanes, 11-4-1 in their past 16 games, are tied with the Sabres in points with 58; each is three points behind the Columbus Blue Jackets for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference, with Buffalo having played one fewer game.
Carolina has won seven straight games against the Sabres, its longest active winning streak against any NHL opponent.
Buffalo will try to win consecutive games for the first time since Dec. 11-13. The Sabres are 3-6-0 in their past nine games and have allowed at least four goals in seven of them.
Players to watch
Hurricanes center Sebastian Aho has 15 points (eight goals, seven assists) in his past 10 games.
Sabres center Jack Eichel has seven points (two goals, five assists) in his past six games.
They said it
"Unfortunately, they all are big [games]. We don't have the luxury of being 15, 20 games over .500 and you don't have to go to the well, but we do. That's the way it is and the way it's going to be until the end of the year. It's tough mentally to always do that but that's what being a pro is, and our guys are figuring that out." -- Hurricanes coach Rod Brind'Amour
"We haven't had a lot of success against them in the last two to three years. It's going to be a point of emphasis. But more importantly is to try to keep building something here. … We've just got to stay focused." -- Sabres coach Phil Housley on facing the Hurricanes
Hurricanes projected lineup
Nino Niederreiter -- Sebastian Aho -- Justin Williams
Micheal Ferland -- Lucas Wallmark -- Teuvo Teravainen
Andrei Svechnikov -- Jordan Martinook -- Brock McGinn
Warren Foegele -- Greg McKegg -- Saku Maenalanen
Jaccob Slavin -- Dougie Hamilton
Brett Pesce -- Justin Faulk
Calvin de Haan -- Trevor van Riemsdyk
Scratched: Haydn Fleury
Injured: Jordan Staal (upper body)
Sabres projected lineup
Jeff Skinner -- Jack Eichel -- Jason Pominville
Conor Sheary -- Casey Mittelstadt -- Sam Reinhart
C.J. Smith -- Evan Rodrigues -- Kyle Okposo
Zemgus Girgensons -- Johan Larsson -- Vladimir Sobotka
Rasmus Dahlin -- Rasmus Ristolainen
Lawrence Pilut -- Zach Bogosian
Marco Scandella - Jake McCabe
Scratched: Tage Thompson, Nathan Beaulieu, Matt Hunwick
Injured: Casey Nelson (upper body)
The Hurricanes did not hold a morning skate. … Larsson will be back in the lineup after missing two games with an upper-body injury.
Niederreiter has six points (five goals, one assist) in seven games since being acquired by the Hurricanes in a trade with the Minnesota Wild on Jan. 17. … Teravainen has seven points (two goals, five assists) in his past six games. … Eichel has nine points (six goals, three assists) in 10 games against Carolina, including six (three goals, three assists) in his past three. … Bogosian will play in his 600th NHL game.