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game preview

Panthers at Sabres preview

Rookie Sateri in goal for Florida; Kane to reunite with Eichel, aims to spark Buffalo

by Joe Yerdon / Correspondent

PANTHERS (20-22-6) at SABRES (14-27-9)

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


The Game

The Buffalo Sabres will have left wing Evander Kane back on a line with Jack Eichel and Kyle Okposo when they face the Florida Panthers at KeyBank Center on Thursday.

Kane has two points (one goal, one assist) in his past 11 games and no points in six. Eichel has 25 points (12 goals, 13 assists) in the past 18 games and Okposo has 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in the past eight.

The Sabres have won three of their past four games but are 0-3-0 in their past three at KeyBank Center. Center Jacob Josefson will return to the lineup after missing the past seven games with a lower-body injury. Chad Johnson will start in goal.

Goalie Harri Sateri, a 28-year-old rookie, will make his fourth straight start for the Panthers. Sateri is coming off his first NHL win on Tuesday, when he made 32 saves in a 4-1 victory against the New York Islanders. The Panthers have lost three of their past four games.


Players to watch

Panthers left wing Jonathan Huberdeau has 12 points (four goals, eight assists) in his past 10 games with points in nine out of 10 games.

Sabres center Ryan O'Reilly has nine points (four goals, five assists) in the past nine games.


They said it

"Seems like we go on a bit of a hot streak and a bit of a low streak and so we always wind up right around the .500 mark and so if you want to make the playoffs and be able to have a successful season you have to be able to get over those .500 marks and be able to go on road trips like this and be sure you're winning both games and not just one of them. So that was a great game that we had two nights ago but it means nothing if we don't have another one tonight." -- Panthers defenseman Mike Matheson

"I think it'll provide a little spark for him. I thought they had really good chemistry early on and hopefully they can rebuild that chemistry." -- Sabres coach Phil Housley on playing Evander Kane with Jack Eichel


Panthers projected lineup

Evgenii Dadonov -- Aleksander Barkov -- Nick Bjugstad

Jonathan Huberdeau -- Vincent Trocheck -- Denis Malgin

Maxim Mamin -- Jared McCann -- Connor Brickley

Micheal Haley -- Derek MacKenzie -- Colton Sceviour

Keith Yandle -- Aaron Ekblad

Mike Matheson -- Mark Pysyk

MacKenzie Weegar -- Alex Petrovic

Harri Sateri

Sam Montembeault

Scratched: Radim Vrbata, Ian McCoshen

Injured: Jamie McGinn (upper body), Roberto Luongo (lower body), James Reimer (lower body)


Sabres projected lineup

Evander Kane -- Jack Eichel -- Kyle Okposo

Scott Wilson -- Ryan O'Reilly -- Sam Reinhart

Zemgus Girgensons -- Johan Larsson -- Jason Pominville

Jordan Nolan -- Jacob Josefson -- Nicholas Baptiste

Marco Scandella -- Rasmus Ristolainen

Jake McCabe -- Victor Antipin

Josh Gorges -- Casey Nelson

Chad Johnson

Robin Lehner

Scratched: Benoit Pouliot, Justin Falk, Evan Rodrigues

Injured: Nathan Beaulieu (undisclosed), Zach Bogosian (hip)


Status report

Reimer, out since Jan. 25, practiced Thursday. Beaulieu, who has missed the past three games, skated again Thursday.


Stat pack

Barkov will play in his 300th NHL game.... The Panthers lead the NHL in shots per game (34.6) while allowing the most (35.3) ... Eichel has not scored a goal in eight games against the Panthers, one of five teams he hasn't scored against.

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