PREDATORS (14-10-5) at SABRES (15-11-6)
7 p.m. ET; MSG-B, FS-TN, NHL.TV
Jack Eichel can match the longest point streak in the NHL this season when the Buffalo Sabres play the Nashville Predators at KeyBank Center on Thursday.
The center has 25 points (12 goals, 13 assists) in a 14-game run, one shy of Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane's 15 (11 goals, 13 assists) from Nov. 2-30. It's the longest point streak by a Sabres player since Tim Connolly had points in 16 straight from Dec. 23, 2009 to Jan. 25, 2010.
Buffalo defenseman Rasmus Dahlin could return after missing eight games with a concussion.
The Predators have won two in a row and are 5-1-2 in their past eight games after a six-game winless streak (0-5-1). Defenseman Mattias Ekholm is expected to play in his 500th NHL game.
Players to watch
Predators center Ryan Johansen has 11 points (three goals, eight assists) in a 10-game point streak against Buffalo.
Sabres center Johan Larsson has nine points (two goals, seven assists) in his past seven games.
They said it
"I think the past five or six games we've been playing a lot better. We obviously were in a spot where we didn't want to be. We weren't happy with the way we were playing. I think the last couple of games we've played a lot better and have got some wins, but we're still not where we want to be. So we've got to keep it going." -- Predators defenseman Roman Josi
"It's always tough to make these calls, and that's part of our job as coaches to make tough calls and to not reach for popularity but for what's right for the team at the moment. This process that we're going through with different D sitting out who have experience and have miles and have even possibly had a good game is not an easy one, but it's part of the internal competition that we spoke about in training camp that we want to keep alive." -- Sabres coach Ralph Krueger on having eight defensemen
Predators projected lineup
Filip Forsberg -- Ryan Johansen -- Calle Jarnkrok
Kyle Turris -- Matt Duchene -- Mikael Granlund
Rocco Grimaldi -- Nick Bonino -- Craig Smith
Daniel Carr -- Colton Sissons -- Austin Watson
Roman Josi -- Ryan Ellis
Mattias Ekholm -- Dante Fabbro
Dan Hamhuis -- Yannick Weber
Scratched: Matt Irwin, Yakov Trenin
Injured: Viktor Arvidsson (lower body)
Sabres projected lineup
Victor Olofsson -- Jack Eichel -- Sam Reinhart
Jeff Skinner -- Evan Rodrigues
Jimmy Vesey -- Marcus Johansson -- Rasmus Asplund
Zemgus Girgensons -- Johan Larsson -- Kyle Okposo
Jake McCabe -- Henri Jokiharju
Rasmus Dahlin -- Colin Miller
Brandon Montour -- Rasmus Ristolainen
Scratched: Casey Mittelstadt, Conor Sheary, Zach Bogosian
Injured: Tage Thompson (upper body), Vladimir Sobotka (lower body)
The Sabres could go with 11 forwards and seven defensemen … Sheary and Mittelstadt skated with the scratches. … Krueger said they will have 12 forwards and seven defensemen on the ice for warmup.
Reinhart's next goal will be the 100th of his NHL career. … Vesey is one point away from 100 in the NHL. … Granlund needs two goals to reach 100.