OILERS (8-12-2) at SABRES (5-13-4)
7 p.m. ET; SNE, SNO, SNW, MSG-B, NHL.TV
The Buffalo Sabres will have defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen back in the lineup when they face the Oilers at KeyBank Center on Friday, when they try to end a seven-game losing streak (0-5-2).
Ristolainen missed nine games with an upper-body injury sustained Nov. 2 against the Arizona Coyotes but returned to his spot on the first defense pairing with Marco Scandella at the morning skate. Ristolainen has played 13 games and leads the NHL in average time on ice with 27:09.
The Oilers will start backup Laurent Brossoit because No. 1 goaltender Cam Talbot is sick. Coach Todd McLellan said defenseman Oscar Klefbom, who has the flu, will be a game-time decision.
Robin Lehner will start for the Sabres.
Players to watch
Oilers center Connor McDavid has six points (one goal, five assists) during a three-game point streak.
Sabres center Jack Eichel has a goal and an assist in his past two games.
They said it
"We're trying to string wins together. We found ways to string losses together. So that's what you've got to do; you've got to put together a streak here and get ourselves back in it." -- Oilers captain Connor McDavid
"I think we work hard, we tried, but sometimes maybe less is more and we need to try to talk and try to play it simple and sometimes during the 60 minutes there's some tough moments for sure. We just need to battle through those." -- Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen about what he learned while he was sidelined with an upper-body injury
Oilers projected lineup
Milan Lucic -- Connor McDavid -- Drake Caggiula
Patrick Maroon -- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins -- Leon Draisaitl
Jujhar Khaira -- Ryan Strome -- Jesse Puljujarvi
Michael Cammalleri -- Mark Letestu -- Zack Kassian
Darnell Nurse -- Adam Larsson
Kris Russell -- Yohann Auvitu
Matt Benning -- Eric Gryba
Scratched: Iiro Pakarinen
Injured: Oscar Klefbom (flu), Andrej Sekera (knee), Anton Slepyshev (groin)
Sabres projected lineup
Evander Kane -- Jack Eichel -- Jason Pominville
Benoit Pouliot -- Ryan O'Reilly -- Sam Reinhart
Jordan Nolan -- Jacob Josefson -- Kyle Okposo
Zemgus Girgensons -- Johan Larsson -- Kyle Criscuolo
Marco Scandella -- Rasmus Ristolainen
Jake McCabe -- Victor Antipin
Nathan Beaulieu -- Justin Falk
Scratched: Matt Moulson, Seth Griffith, Josh Gorges
Injured: Taylor Fedun (lower body), Matt Tennyson (foot), Zach Bogosian (lower body)
Gryba will dress if Klefbom doesn't play. … The Sabres sent defenseman Casey Nelson to Rochester of the American Hockey League to make room for Ristolainen.
Draisaitl is two assists shy of 100 in the NHL. … Okposo has 10 points (six goals, four assists) in 10 games against the Oilers.