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Kings at Sabres preview

Los Angeles looks to push point streak to seven; Eichel returns for Buffalo

by Heather Engel / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

KINGS (15-18-4) at SABRES (16-13-7)

1 p.m. ET; MSG-B, FS-W, NHL.TV

 

The Game

Jack Eichel will return to the lineup for the Buffalo Sabres when they play the Los Angeles Kings at KeyBank Center on Saturday.

Eichel was a late scratch with an upper-body injury Thursday prior to the Sabres' 6-1 loss at the Philadelphia Flyers. The center practiced Friday, and took part in warmups Saturday.

Eichel had 31 points (16 goals, 15 assists) in a 17-game point streak, which ended with his absence at Philadelphia. It was the longest streak in the NHL this season and one short of the Sabres record (Gilbert Perreault, Oct. 24-Dec. 4, 1971).

The Kings will finish a six-game road trip. They are 4-0-2 in their past six games after going 2-6-1 in their previous nine and have scored at least three goals in five of those games.

 

Players to watch

Kings forward Tyler Toffoli has eight points (three goals, five assists) in his past six games.

Sabres forward Victor Olofsson has 23 points (nine goals, 14 assists) in his past 21 games.

 

They said it

"I'm not sure that we've played our best hockey, and that might sound strange … but I think we're better than we've played or have played better than we have in the past six periods. We have to play better [Saturday] if we want to have success and continue on." -- Kings coach Todd McLellan on the road trip

"We need to start working for some leads. There's no question that we're better off, with the way we play, holding a lead and building on that. We'd like to concentrate on that. I didn't feel a quit in the team [Thursday]. I just thought we lost our structure, we lost our principles, and we're almost trying too hard." -- Sabres coach Ralph Krueger

 

Kings projected lineup

Alex Iafallo -- Anze Kopitar -- Dustin Brown

Kyle Clifford -- Jeff Carter -- Trevor Lewis

Tyler Toffoli -- Michael Amadio -- Nikolai Prokhorkin

Adrian Kempe -- Blake Lizotte -- Austin Wagner

Joakim Ryan -- Drew Doughty

Ben Hutton -- Matt Roy

Kurtis MacDermid -- Sean Walker

Jonathan Quick

Jack Campbell

Scratched: Matt Luff, Kale Clague

Injured: Derek Forbort (upper body), Alec Martinez (lower body)

 

Sabres projected lineup

Victor Olofsson -- Jack Eichel -- Sam Reinhart 

Jeff Skinner -- Marcus Johansson -- Rasmus Asplund

Jimmy Vesey -- Evan Rodrigues -- Conor Sheary

Zemgus Girgensons -- Kyle Okposo

Jake McCabe -- Rasmus Ristolainen

Rasmus Dahlin -- Zach Bogosian

Marco Scandella - Henri Jokiharju

Brandon Montour

Linus Ullmark

Carter Hutton

Scratched: Curtis Lazar, Colin Miller

Injured: Johan Larsson (lower body), Tage Thompson (upper body), Vladimir Sobotka (lower body)

 

Status report

Rodrigues practiced Friday after taking a puck to the back of the leg against Philadelphia. He's day to day and could play against the Kings. … Larsson will be out Saturday and Monday at Ottawa. 

 

Stat pack

Reinhart's next goal will be his 100th in the NHL. … The Sabres are 0-2-1 in their past three games after a three-game winning streak and 7-for-27 (25.9 percent) on the power play in nine games in December. … Kopitar has 17 points (seven goals, 10 assists) in 18 games against Buffalo. … Iafallo, who grew up in Eden, New York, just south of Buffalo, has three assists in five games against the Sabres.
 

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