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Preview: Blackhawks at Sabres

Buffalo seeks rare four-game winning streak; Michal Rozsival may return for Chicago

by Joe Yerdon / NHL.com Correspondent

BLACKHAWKS (35-18-5) at SABRES (26-23-10)

6 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NHL.TV

 

Blackhawks team scope

The Chicago Blackhawks are on a five-game road winning streak. They ended a five-game winning streak with a 3-1 loss to the Edmonton Oilers at United Center on Saturday but will look to sweep the season series against the Buffalo Sabres. Captain Jonathan Toews has 15 points (five goals, 10 assists) in his past 11 games and got his 600th NHL point with an assist against the Oilers. Coach Joel Quenneville said Saturday it was possible that defenseman Michal Rozsival, out since Jan. 15 with a lower-body injury, could return against the Sabres. It's the second of back-to-back games for both the Blackhawks and Sabres, but Chicago is 7-2-1 this season in the second game in those situations. Chicago recalled forward Vinnie Hinostroza from Rockford of the American Hockey League on Sunday. Hinostroza has 14 points (six goals, eight assists) in 48 games with the Blackhawks.

 

Sabres team scope

The Sabres have won three straight games and four of their past five to move within two points of third place in the Atlantic Division. Buffalo is also two points behind the Boston Bruins for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference after a 3-2 win against the St. Louis Blues on Saturday. A win against the Blackhawks would give the Sabres their first four-game winning streak since Dec. 9-14, 2014. The Sabres will go on a five-day break after facing the Blackhawks but understand they have a challenge ahead of them. "[The Blackhawks] have a lot of talent up front, they're a puck possession team, and we're going to have to have a lot of what we had tonight," left wing Evander Kane said Saturday. Forward Sam Reinhart won't play after missing the game against the Blues because of an illness. Forward Nicholas Baptiste had a goal and an assist after he was recalled from Rochester of the AHL to replace him. "It gave me a confidence boost," Baptiste said Saturday. "Being called up right away was nice for me." Robin Lehner has started 10 of the past 11 games and is fourth in the NHL in save percentage (.926) and even-strength save percentage (.935).

 

Blackhawks projected lineup

Nick Schmaltz -- Jonathan Toews -- Richard Panik

Artemi Panarin -- Artem Anisimov -- Patrick Kane

Ryan Hartman -- Tanner Kero -- Marian Hossa

Dennis Rasmussen -- Marcus Kruger -- Andrew Desjardins

Duncan Keith -- Niklas Hjalmarsson

Michal Kempny -- Brent Seabrook

Brian Campbell -- Trevor van Riemsdyk

Scott Darling

Corey Crawford

Scratched: Jordin Tootoo, Vinnie Hinostroza

Injured: Michal Rozsival (lower body)

 

Sabres projected lineup

Justin Bailey -- Ryan O'Reilly -- Kyle Okposo

Evander Kane -- Jack Eichel -- Nicholas Baptiste

Marcus Foligno -- Evan Rodrigues -- Brian Gionta

Matt Moulson -- Nicolas Deslauriers -- Tyler Ennis

Jake McCabe -- Rasmus Ristolainen

Zach Bogosian -- Cody Franson

Josh Gorges -- Dmitry Kulikov

Robin Lehner

Anders Nilsson

Scratched: Justin Falk

Injured: Sam Reinhart (illness), Derek Grant (shoulder), Zemgus Girgensons (middle body), William Carrier (knee), Johan Larsson (wrist)

 

Status report

The Blackhawks and Sabres did not skate Sunday. … Keith needs two points to reach 500 in the NHL. … Sabres defenseman Taylor Fedun cleared waivers and was assigned to Rochester..

 

Who's hot

Panik has three goals and an assist in his past two games. … Ristolainen has a four-game assist streak. .... Eichel has a three-game assist streak. ... O'Reilly has two goals and two assists during a four-game point streak.

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