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Avalanche at Sabres

Makar can break Colorado/Quebec scoring mark for rookie defenseman; Buffalo 1-3-0 in past four

by Heather Engel / Independent Correspondent

AVALANCHE (28-16-6) at SABRES (23-22-7)

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


The Game

Cale Makar can set the record for most points by a rookie defenseman in Colorado Avalanche/Quebec Nordiques history when the Avalanche visit the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center on Tuesday.

Makar, who has 37 points (11 goals, 26 assists) in 42 games, needs one point to pass Bruce Bell, who had 37 points (six goals, 31 assists) in 75 games with the Nordiques in 1984-85. 

The Avalanche are 3-1-0 in their past four games following a four-game winless streak (0-2-2).

The Sabres are 1-3-0 in their past four games after going 5-2-0 in their previous seven. Goalie Carter Hutton, who made 22 saves in a 2-1 overtime win against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday for his first victory since Oct. 22, will make his third straight start.


Players to watch

Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon has 16 points (eight goals, eight assists) in his past 11 games.

Sabres center Jack Eichel has scored a goal in each of his past three games and has 14 points (seven goals, seven assists) in his past 13.


They said it

"To be able to come out this year with higher expectations and knowing what he should expect out of the League, maybe a little bit of a slow start for him and then for him to be able to make the adjustments … is impressive. … I like what he's been doing, and I think there's still room for him to grow." -- Avalanche coach Jared Bednar on defenseman Cale Makar

"You go through ups and downs throughout the season as a team and you can't really sit and talk about how you're going to react to things two weeks from now, 'if such and such happens.' You have to sort adjust on the fly and obviously that's what [coach Ralph Krueger] is doing and what we're doing as a team -- trying to steer this thing in the right direction." -- Sabres forward Jeff Skinner


Avalanche projected lineup

Gabriel Landeskog -- Nathan MacKinnon -- Mikko Rantanen

Valeri Nichushkin -- Nazem Kadri -- Andre Burakovsky

Matt Calvert -- Pierre-Edouard Bellemare -- J.T. Compher

Matt Nieto -- Tyson Jost -- Joonas Donskoi

Ryan Graves -- Cale Makar

Samuel Girard -- Erik Johnson

Nikita Zadorov -- Ian Cole

Philipp Grubauer

Pavel Francouz

Scratched: Vladislav Kamenev, Mark Barberio

Injured: Colin Wilson (lower body)


Sabres projected lineup

Jimmy Vesey -- Jack Eichel -- Sam Reinhart 

Jeff Skinner ---- Evan Rodrigues -- Rasmus Asplund

Conor Sheary -- Marcus Johansson -- Michael Frolik

Zemgus Girgensons -- Jean-Sebastien Dea 

Lawrence Pilut -- Rasmus Ristolainen

Brandon Montour -- Colin Miller

Jake McCabe -- Henri Jokiharju

Zach Bogosian

Carter Hutton

Jonas Johansson

Scratched: None

Injured: Johan Larsson (lower body), Curtis Lazar (illness), Kyle Okposo (upper body), Linus Ullmark (lower body), Victor Olofsson (lower body), Tage Thompson (upper body), Vladimir Sobotka (lower body)

Status report

Dahlin skated after missing practice Monday for a maintenance day but will not play. … Montour, who missed the game against Columbus but practiced Monday, also skated and will play. … Asplund was called up from Rochester of the American Hockey League.


Stat pack

Burakovsky is one goal from tying his NHL career high of 17 set with the Washington Capitals in 2015-16. … Reinhart has 12 points (six goals, six assists) in his past 11 games.

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