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Preview: Blue Jackets at Sabres

Columbus can set franchise record with win; Buffalo seeks to end losing streak

by Joe Yerdon / NHL.com Correspondent

BLUE JACKETS (43-17-6) at SABRES (27-29-12)

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

 

Blue Jackets team scope

The Columbus Blue Jackets will try to sweep their home-and-home series against the Buffalo Sabres after winning 4-3 on Friday in Columbus. They are one win shy of establishing their record for wins (44) and one point shy of tying the record for points (93); each was set in 2013-14. Coach John Tortorella said he may use each goalie during the home-and-home set which means Joonas Korpisalo could start after Sergei Bobrovsky played Friday. "We haven't played [the Sabres] all year and then to play them back-to-back I'm sure tomorrow night's game is going to pick up right where this one left off," Boone Jenner told the Blue Jackets website on Friday. "That's usually how it goes." Columbus is three points behind the Washington Capitals for first place in the Metropolitan Division and tied with the Pittsburgh Penguins for second. "We're not going to dissect it too much, we know we need to be better," Tortorella said. "To me I'm going to look at it this way. You still find a way to win a game when I think the players know they weren't that good."

 

Sabres team scope

The Sabres have lost four straight game and are nine points behind the New York Islanders for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference with 14 games left. "The time for learning lessons is past us," Josh Gorges told the Sabres website Friday. "Winning games, that's all that matters, that's all that should matter. I said this after the last game; it doesn't matter if you play an ugly game when you get two points. That's the job. And it doesn't matter if you play a good game and you fall short, you didn't get the job done. [Friday] was that way." Jack Eichel will look to get back on the scoresheet after he his 11-game point streak ended Friday. He has 16 points (five goals, 11 assists) in his past 12 games. Evander Kane has 20 points (12 goals, eight assists) in his past 22 games and Ryan O'Reilly has seven points (three goals, four assists) in his past six. Anders Nilsson, who is 7-1-1 with a .941 save percentage and a 2.07 goals-against average at home this season, could start in goal after Robin Lehner played Friday..

 

Blue Jackets projected lineup

Boone Jenner -- Brandon Dubinsky -- Cam Atkinson

Brandon Saad -- Alexander Wennberg -- Nick Foligno

Scott Hartnell -- Sam Gagner -- Oliver Bjorkstrand

Lauri Korpikoski -- William Karlsson -- T.J. Tynan

Zach Werenski -- Seth Jones

Jack Johnson -- David Savard

Kyle Quincey -- Markus Nutivaara

Joonas Korpisalo

Sergei Bobrovsky

Scratched: Scott Harrington

Injured: Ryan Murray (lower body), Josh Anderson (lower body), Matt Calvert (oblique), Lukas Sedlak (oblique)

 

Sabres projected lineup

Evander Kane -- Ryan O'Reilly -- Justin Bailey

Matt Moulson -- Jack Eichel -- Sam Reinhart

Marcus Foligno -- Zemgus Girgensons -- Brian Gionta

Nicolas Deslauriers -- Evan Rodrigues -- Tyler Ennis

Jake McCabe -- Rasmus Ristolainen

Justin Falk -- Zach Bogosian

Josh Gorges -- Cody Franson

Anders Nilsson

Robin Lehner

Scratched: None

Injured: Dmitry Kulikov (upper body), Kyle Okposo (ribs), William Carrier (knee), Johan Larsson (wrist)

 

Status report

Neither team held a morning skate on Saturday.

 

Who's hot

Gagner has five points (three goals, two assists) during a four-game point streak. Atkinson has four point (one goal, three assists) during a four-game point streak. Dubinsky has an assist in three straight games. ... Ristolainen has four points (one goal, three assists) in the past five games. 

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