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game preview

Hurricanes at Sabres preview

Carolina seeks 12th victory in 17 games, can extend winning streak against Buffalo to eight

by Heather Engel / NHL.com Correspondent

HURRICANES (26-21-6) at SABRES (26-20-6)

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

 

The Game

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

Curtis McElhinney

Petr Mrazek

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

Linus Ullmark

Carter Hutton

Scratched: Tage Thompson, Nathan Beaulieu, Matt Hunwick

Injured: Casey Nelson (upper body)

 

Status report

The Hurricanes did not hold a morning skate. … Larsson will be back in the lineup after missing two games with an upper-body injury.

 

Stat pack

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.

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