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game preview

Rangers at Sabres preview

Georgiev starts for New York; Buffalo seeks consecutive wins for first time since December

by Heather Engel / Correspondent

RANGERS (24-24-8) at SABRES (28-21-7)



The Game

The Buffalo Sabres will try to win consecutive games for the first time since Dec. 11 and 13 when they host the New York Rangers at KeyBank Center on Friday.

Buffalo is 0-7-2 in nine tries since last winning two in a row. They've alternated wins and losses in their past six games and are 3-1-1 in their past five.

Goalie Alexandar Georgiev will start for the Rangers, who are 3-4-1 in their past eight after winning four of their previous five games. New York has won five of its past six games against Buffalo.


Players to watch

Rangers center Mika Zibanejad has eight goals in his past seven games and 21 points (13 goals, eight assists) in his past 13.

Sabres center Jack Eichel has 12 points (three goals, nine assists) in his past 10 games, including eight points (two goals, six assists) in a six-game point streak.


They said it

"I'm definitely trying not to pass up any opportunities I have. They're going in right now so I don't see a reason not to shoot." -- Rangers center Mika Zibanejad

"I feel like we've got to take care of our own net first. That's how you win games. The last few games I think we've played better defensively. With our guys, we're going to get our chances offensively." -- Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen


Rangers projected lineup

Chris Kreider -- Mika Zibanejad -- Mats Zuccarello

Jimmy Vesey -- Kevin Hayes -- Pavel Buchnevich

Vladislav Namestnikov -- Ryan Strome -- Jesper Fast

Filip Chytil -- Boo Nieves -- Connor Brickley

Brady Skjei -- Adam McQuaid

Marc Staal -- Neal Pionk

Brendan Smith -- Kevin Shattenkirk

Alexandar Georgiev

Henrik Lundqvist

Scratched: Tony DeAngelo

Injured: Brett Howden (MCL sprain), Fredrik Claesson (shoulder)


Sabres projected lineup

Jeff Skinner -- Jack Eichel -- Jason Pominville

Conor Sheary -- Evan Rodrigues -- Sam Reinhart

C.J. Smith -- Vladimir Sobotka -- Tage Thompson

Zemgus Girgensons -- Johan Larsson -- Kyle Okposo

Marco Scandella -- Rasmus Ristolainen

Rasmus Dahlin -- Zach Bogosian

Lawrence Pilut -- Jake McCabe

Linus Ullmark

Carter Hutton

Scratched: Nathan Beaulieu, Matt Hunwick

Injured: Casey Mittelstadt (lower body)


Status report

The Rangers did not hold a morning skate. … Bogosian will play after missing two games with a lower-body injury. … Mittelstadt will miss his second straight game. 


Stat pack

Zuccarello has four assists in his past two games and 19 points (five goals, 14 assists) in his past 12. … The Rangers are 10-for-30 (33.3 percent) on the power play in their past 11 games. … Sheary has three goals in two games against the Rangers this season. … The Sabres have allowed five goals in three games after giving up in 17 in their three previous games. … New York has scored at least three goals in five of its past seven games.

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