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Blue Jackets at Sabres preview

Eichel moved to third line; Columbus looks for fourth straight win

by Joe Yerdon / NHL.com Correspondent

BLUE JACKETS (12-7-1) at SABRES (5-11-4)

7 p.m. ET; SN1, SNE, SNP, MSG-B, FS-O, NHL.TV

 

The Game

Center Jack Eichel will drop to the third line for the Buffalo Sabres, who look to end a five-game losing streak (0-3-2) when they host the Columbus Blue Jackets at KeyBank Center on Monday. 

Eichel, who has five goals this season and one goal in the past 11 games, will center Zemgus Girgensons and Jason Pominville. Ryan O'Reilly will skate between Evander Kane and Sam Reinhart and Johan Larsson will center Benoit Pouliot and Kyle Okposo. 

Robin Lehner will start for the Sabres. He's 1-2-1 and allowed 11 goals in his past four starts.

The Blue Jackets will try to win their fourth straight game. In the past three games, Sergei Bobrovsky, who likely will start, has allowed two goals and has a shutout. Bobrovsky is 9-3-1 with a .919 save percentage against the Sabres in his career.

 

Players to watch

Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski has scored a goal in two straight games and is second on the team in goals (six) and tied for second in points (12).

Sabres left wing Evander Kane has six points (four goals, two assists) in the past six games and leads Buffalo with 19 points (11 goals, eight assists) in 20 games.

 

They said it

"I thought we played in the areas we needed to play in. We were better. It was a game that I thought we deserved to win. I'm pretty honest about winning and losing. We won some games prior to that, that, really, we went in the back door. We're still getting chances from, really, our secondary guys. We still haven't gotten our top guys untracked, but I thought we played good." -- Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella on the three-game winning streak

"We're putting ourselves in games here and I feel like whether or not we let a point or two slip away, it's a bit frustrating. We just need to find ways to get over that hump and just continue to battle and stick with it." -- Sabres center Jack Eichel

 

Blue Jackets projected lineup

Artemi Panarin -- Nick Foligno -- Oliver Bjorkstrand

Boone Jenner -- Brandon Dubinsky -- Cam Atkinson

Tyler Motte -- Pierre-Luc Dubois -- Josh Anderson

Sonny Milano -- Jordan Schroeder -- Markus Hannikainen

Zach Werenski -- Seth Jones

Jack Johnson -- David Savard

Ryan Murray -- Markus Nutivaara

Sergei Bobrovsky

Joonas Korpisalo

Scratched: Scott Harrington

Injured: Lukas Sedlak (ankle), Matt Calvert (upper body), Alexander Wennberg (undisclosed)

 

Sabres projected lineup

Evander Kane -- Ryan O'Reilly -- Sam Reinhart

Benoit Pouliot -- Johan Larsson -- Kyle Okposo

Zemgus Girgensons -- Jack Eichel -- Jason Pominville

Seth Griffith -- Kyle Criscuolo -- Jordan Nolan

Marco Scandella -- Justin Falk

Jake McCabe -- Nathan Beaulieu

Josh Gorges -- Victor Antipin

Robin Lehner

Chad Johnson

Scratched: Matt Moulson, Casey Nelson

Injured: Taylor Fedun (lower body), Matt Tennyson (foot), Rasmus Ristolainen (upper body), Jacob Josefson (lower body), Zach Bogosian (lower body)

 

Status update

The Blue Jackets did not hold a morning skate. ... Josefson practiced with the Sabres for the first time since he was injured Oct. 15 against Anaheim.

 

Stat pack

Columbus has scored three or more goals in five straight games against the Sabres. Lehner is 5-2-0 in his career against the Blue Jackets with a .952 save percentage. 

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