BLUE JACKETS (44-30-4) at SABRES (31-37-10)
6 p.m. ET; TVAS, MSG-B, FS-O, NHL.TV
The Columbus Blue Jackets look to gain ground in the Eastern Conference wild-card race when they visit the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center on Sunday.
Columbus holds the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference. They're tied in points with the Montreal Canadiens, with a game in hand, and trail the Carolina Hurricanes, who hold the first wild card, by one point.
The Blue Jackets have outscored opponents 20-4 in a four-game winning streak.
The Sabres, who have lost six in a row, are 1-11-2 in their past 14 games and 3-16-3 in their past 22.
Players to watch
Blue Jackets forward Artemi Panarin has seven points (two goals, five assists) in a four-game point streak.
Sabres center Jack Eichel has 12 points (three goals, nine assists) in 11 games against the Blue Jackets.
They said it
"We're scoring some goals here, we're playing looser offensively. The monkey's off the back … and we want to keep this good thing going. Everyone's chipping in, which is great, so we want to continue." -- Blue Jackets center Matt Duchene on the four-game winning streak
"I don't think we've quit. At this point, it's definitely tough. It's a struggle. It's been a long year, you can say that. Quit? No. We're going to play [Sunday]. We should be mad about this and bring our best effort." -- Sabres captain Jack Eichel
Blue Jackets projected lineup
Artemi Panarin -- Matt Duchene -- Cam Atkinson
Ryan Dzingel -- Pierre-Luc Dubois -- Josh Anderson
Boone Jenner -- Alexander Wennberg -- Oliver Bjorkstrand
Nick Foligno -- Brandon Dubinsky -- Riley Nash
Zach Werenski -- Seth Jones
Markus Nutivaara -- David Savard
Scott Harrington -- Dean Kukan
Scratched: Keith Kinkaid, Eric Robinson, Lukas Sedlak, Markus Hannikainen, Adam Clendening
Injured: Adam McQuaid (upper body), Ryan Murray (upper body)
Sabres projected lineup
Victor Olofsson -- Jack Eichel -- Sam Reinhart
Jeff Skinner -- Casey Mittelstadt -- Jason Pominville
Conor Sheary -- Johan Larsson -- Alexander Nylander
Scott Wilson -- Zemgus Girgensons -- Kyle Okposo
Rasmus Dahlin -- William Borgen
Lawrence Pilut -- Brandon Montour
Marco Scandella -- Casey Nelson
Injured: Evan Rodrigues (upper body), Vladimir Sobotka (upper body), Zach Bogosian (lower body), Rasmus Ristolainen (illness), Jake McCabe (upper body), Matt Hunwick (upper body)
Neither team held a morning skate.
Bjorkstrand has five goals in a four-game goal-scoring streak. … Atkinson, with 41 goals, needs one to set a single-season Blue Jackets record. … Jenner's next assist will be his 200th in the NHL. … Skinner has one goal in his past 21 games and is two assists away from 200 in the NHL. … Okposo is one assist shy of 300.