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Preview: Penguins at Sabres

Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury likely to start for Pittsburgh, Anders Nilsson for Buffalo

by Joe Yerdon / NHL.com Correspondent

PENGUINS (11-4-2) at SABRES (5-8-4)

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

 

Penguins team scope

The Pittsburgh Penguins did not skate on Saturday after a 3-2 overtime win at the New York Islanders on Friday. Kris Letang scored the game-winning goal and Sidney Crosby had a goal and the assist on Letang's game-winner. After Matt Murray made 20 saves against the Islanders, Marc-Andre Fleury is expected to start. The Penguins played without Patric Hornqvist, who missed the game with a concussion. Defensemen Brian Dumoulin and Trevor Daley each missed part of the game with injuries but returned. Crosby has dominated against the Sabres during his career. The last time Crosby played in a game against Buffalo and lost was Dec. 29, 2009. He has 49 points (14 goals, 35 assists) in 31 regular-season games against the Sabres. Crosby hasn't scored a goal against Buffalo since Feb. 5, 2014, but has five points in his past three games against the Sabres.

 

Sabres team scope

The Buffalo Sabres are looking to end a six-game losing streak (0-4-2), but will again be without Ryan O'Reilly, who will miss his fourth game with an oblique injury. They recalled Ryan's brother, center Cal O'Reilly, and forward Cole Schneider from Rochester of the American Hockey League on Saturday. Forwards Nicholas Baptiste and Evan Rodrigues were returned to Rochester on Friday. Cal O'Reilly is the leading scorer in the AHL and Schneider is tied for second. "I think it's important you put players in situations and opportunities they can help," coach Dan Bylsma said. "Cal is that guy. He's almost a point-a-game guy. He has poise and confidence with the puck. … I think he can add to that second [power-play] unit, being a poised puck guy, controlling the play, passing." Backup goaltender Anders Nilsson will start for the first time since a 2-1 overtime loss to the New Jersey Devils on Nov. 11. Nilsson is 1-2-1 with a .917 save percentage in his career against Pittsburgh. "It's still the same game and it's still the same puck you have to stop," Nilsson said. "It's not too big of a difference. Obviously they have some very skilled guys and some guys that you have to be aware of when you're on the ice." Center Johan Larsson will start on the first line between Evander Kane and Kyle Okposo for the first time this season.

 

Penguins projected lineup

Conor Sheary -- Sidney Crosby -- Scott Wilson

Chris Kunitz -- Evgeni Malkin -- Bryan Rust

Carl Hagelin -- Nick Bonino -- Phil Kessel

Eric Fehr -- Matt Cullen -- Tom Kuhnhackl

Brian Dumoulin -- Kris Letang

Olli Maatta -- Trevor Daley

Ian Cole -- Justin Schultz

Marc-Andre Fleury

Matt Murray

Scratched: Steve Oleksy, Tom Sestito

Injured: Patric Hornqvist (concussion), Derrick Pouliot (lower body)

 

Sabres projected lineup

Evander Kane -- Johan Larsson -- Kyle Okposo

Marcus Foligno -- Sam Reinhart -- Brian Gionta

Zemgus Girgensons -- Cal O'Reilly -- Matt Moulson

William Carrier -- Derek Grant -- Cole Schneider

Josh Gorges -- Rasmus Ristolainen

Jake McCabe -- Cody Franson

Justin Falk -- Taylor Fedun

Anders Nilsson

Robin Lehner

Scratched: None

Injured: Ryan O'Reilly (oblique), Dmitry Kulikov (lower back), Tyler Ennis (groin), Zach Bogosian (MCL sprain), Nicolas Deslauriers (knee), Jack Eichel (left high ankle sprain), Cody McCormick (blood clots)

 

Status report

Any lineup changes by the Penguins likely won't be known until shortly before game time… Ryan O'Reilly is listed as day-to-day. Bylsma mentioned Friday that Kulikov's injury is to his lower back and related to an injury he had in the preseason.

 

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