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Islanders at Sabres preview

New York goes for fourth straight win, 10th in 13 games; Buffalo is 4-7-1 in past 12

by Heather Engel / Correspondent

ISLANDERS (33-16-6) at SABRES (27-21-7)

7 p.m. ET; MSG-B, MSG+ 2, NHL.TV


The Game

The New York Islanders will try for their fourth straight win and 10th in 13 games when they play the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center on Tuesday.

The Islanders, who are 16-3-2 in their past 21 games, have allowed one goal or fewer in eight of their past 12 games.

The Sabres are 2-1-1 in their past four after going 2-6-0 in their previous eight. They've allowed four goals in their past two games after giving up at least four in three straight and five of their previous six.


Players to watch

Islanders defenseman Ryan Pulock has seven points (two goals, five assists) in his past five games.

Sabres center Jack Eichel has six points (two goals, four assists) in a five-game point streak.


They said it

"He's been a real good fit for us. He's helped us offensively, for sure, and defensively he's been really solid for us." -- Islanders coach Barry Trotz on rookie defenseman Devon Toews

"A game like this, you know it's going to be really tight and you can't get frustrated. You have to trust your game, trust the fact that you are going to get opportunities and when you do, you have to be ready. They're probably not going to come all the time, so we have to be ready to work, be ready to check well." -- Sabres forward Kyle Okposo on facing the Islanders, his former team


Islanders projected lineup

Anders Lee -- Brock Nelson -- Jordan Eberle

Michael Dal Colle -- Mathew Barzal -- Josh Bailey

Anthony Beauvillier -- Valtteri Filppula -- Leo Komarov

Matt Martin -- Casey Cizikas -- Cal Clutterbuck

Nick Leddy -- Johnny Boychuk

Adam Pelech -- Ryan Pulock

Devon Toews -- Scott Mayfield

Robin Lehner

Thomas Greiss

Scratched: Ross Johnston, Tom Kuhnhackl, Luca Sbisa

Injured: Thomas Hickey (upper body), Andrew Ladd (lower body)


Sabres projected lineup

Jeff Skinner -- Jack Eichel -- Jason Pominville

Conor Sheary -- Casey Mittelstadt -- Sam Reinhart

Zemgus Girgensons -- Johan Larsson -- Kyle Okposo

Vladimir Sobotka -- Evan Rodrigues -- Tage Thompson

Marco Scandella -- Rasmus Ristolainen

Rasmus Dahlin - Matt Hunwick

Lawrence Pilut - Jake McCabe

Linus Ullmark

Carter Hutton

Scratched: C.J. Smith, Nathan Beaulieu

Injured: Zach Bogosian (lower body)


Status report

Lehner was the first goalie off the ice for the Islanders and is expected to start against his former team. … Clutterbuck is expected to return after missing the past two games with an upper-body injury. … Mittelstadt left the morning skate early and is a game-time decision. If he can't play, Smith will dress after being scratched for the past two games. … Bogosian, who missed Sunday's game, was not on the ice for the morning skate.


Stat pack

Lee has one point, an assist, in his past nine games. … Nelson has five points (one goal, four assists) in his past five. … Lehner is 13-2-1 with a 1.53 goals-against average and .947 save percentage in his past 16 games (15 starts). … Dahlin's 25 assists are second among NHL rookies, behind Vancouver Canucks forward Elias Pettersson (26). … Rodrigues has six goals and eight points in his past 10 games.

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