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Predators at Sabres preview

Nashville hopes to move up in Central Division; Buffalo has lost seven in row

by Heather Engel / NHL.com Correspondent

PREDATORS (44-29-6) at SABRES (31-38-10)

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

 

The Game

The Nashville Predators look to gain ground in the Central Division when they visit the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday.

The Predators trail the division-leading Winnipeg Jets by two points and are tied with the St. Louis Blues for second place. The Jets play the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday.

The Sabres have lost seven consecutive games (0-6-1) for the second time this season (0-6-1, March 2-16) and hope to avoid their longest skid since losing a team-record 14 straight from Dec. 29, 2014 to Jan. 30, 2015 (0-14-0). Buffalo is 1-12-2 in its past 15 games.

 

Players to watch

Predators forward Viktor Arvidsson has scored 33 goals, which is tied for the team record shared by Jason Arnott (2008-09) and Filip Forsberg (2015-16).

Sabres forward Jeff Skinner has 16 points (eight goals, eight assists) in 14 games against the Predators.

 

They said it

"I'd like everybody to play, nobody likes sitting out. I trust everybody that's in the room. Right now, we're still battling for some things inside of our division and we've got to put a lineup out there that we feel gives us the best chance of being successful." -- Predators coach Peter Laviolette

"I felt really, really good today. A lot of energy, fresh. Mentally, really fresh. I'm excited about tonight." -- Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen, who returns after missing four games with an illness

 

Predators projected lineup

Filip Forsberg -- Ryan Johansen -- Viktor Arvidsson

Mikael Granlund -- Kyle Turris -- Craig Smith

Colton Sissons -- Nick Bonino -- Austin Watson

Brian Boyle -- Calle Jarnkrok -- Wayne Simmonds

Roman Josi -- Ryan Ellis

Mattias Ekholm -- P.K. Subban

Dan Hamhuis -- Dante Fabbro

Pekka Rinne

Juuse Saros

Scratched: Frederick Gaudreau, Matt Irwin, Yannick Weber, Cody McLeod, Rem Pitlick, Troy Grosenick

Injured: Rocco Grimaldi (upper body)

 

Sabres projected lineup

Victor Olofsson -- Jack Eichel -- Sam Reinhart

Jeff Skinner -- Evan Rodrigues - Kyle Okposo

Conor Sheary -- Casey Mittelstadt -- Alexander Nylander

Scott Wilson -- Johan Larsson -- Jason Pominville

Rasmus Dahlin -- Rasmus Ristolainen

Jake McCabe -- Brandon Montour

Lawrence Pilut -- Casey Nelson

Carter Hutton

Linus Ullmark

Scratched: Zemgus Girgensons, William Borgen

Injured: Marco Scandella (lower body), Vladimir Sobotka (upper body), Zach Bogosian (lower body), Matt Hunwick (upper body)

 

Status report

The Predators held an optional morning skate. … Watson will play for the first time since Jan. 23. … Scandella will miss the Sabres' final three games. … Bogosian remains day to day.

 

Stat pack

Johansen has 10 points (two goals, eight assists) in a personal nine-game point streak against the Sabres. … The Predators have won seven consecutive games at Buffalo since Dec. 1, 2008. … Okposo is one assist shy of 300 in the NHL.

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