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Preview: Sabres at Blues

Three call-ups in Buffalo lineup because of injuries; Jake Allen starts for St. Louis

by Louie Korac / Correspondent

SABRES (5-6-4) at BLUES (7-6-3)

8 p.m. ET; FS-MW, MSG-B, NHL.TV

Sabres team scope

The Buffalo Sabres will use three call-ups from Rochester of the American Hockey League because of injuries. Left wing Evan Rodrigues, right wing Nicholas Baptiste and defenseman Justin Falk will play. Center Ryan O'Reilly (mid-body) and defenseman Dmitry Kulikov (undisclosed) did not make the trip to St. Louis. O'Reilly will miss his second straight game and Kulikov will miss his third in a row. "It's more of an indication that [O'Reilly is] just day to day and the rest for one more game; hopefully we can get him back for the next one," said coach Dan Bylsma, who was more concerned with Kulikov. "It's undisclosed more because it's, even though it's mid-body, he took the bruise to the lower back, butt area in the preseason, this is an extension of that." Forward William Carrier will play for the first time since he was traded to Buffalo on Feb. 28, 2014, as part of a trade that sent goalie Ryan Miller to the St. Louis Blues. "It's been a while since I got traded; I was playing in juniors," Carrier said. "... I've been playing well, playing physical, use my speed." Robin Lehner, and not former Blues goalie Anders Nilsson, will start.


Blues team scope

The Blues, who lost 8-4 at the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday, will try and break out of a slump; they are 4-6-3 in their past 13 game. The eight goals were the most they allowed in a game since Nov. 10, 2010. Goalie Jake Allen, who allowed four goals on 12 shots before being pulled in favor of Carter Hutton, will start. "Everything was going in; [it was] one of those games," Allen said. "We have to bring a good three games here at home, it's a big crucial week for us, especially after dropping a couple ... hopefully get back on the horse." Right wing Vladimir Tarasenko, who has two goals in his past 12 games after scoring four in four games to open the season, has a five-game point streak, including a four-point game against Columbus. Tarasenko has two goals and six assists the past five games. "He's like [Brett] Hull," coach Ken Hitchcock said of Tarasenko. "He does not get enough credit for the way he passes the puck. He's a great passer. ... He's got a great shot, yeah, but there's some seasons where he's not going to score 40 goals. I guarantee he's going to get 50 assists. The passes he makes in zone, the seams he finds, the snap that he puts on it, that's like Hull." The Blues, who are 5-1-2 at, home, have the best penalty kill in the NHL (90.6 percent).


Sabres projected lineup

Evander Kane -- Sam Reinhart -- Kyle Okposo

Marcus Foligno -- Johan Larsson -- Brian Gionta

Matt Moulson -- Zemgus Girgensons -- William Carrier 

Evan Rodrigues -- Derek Grant -- Nicholas Baptiste

Josh Gorges -- Rasmus Ristolainen

Jake McCabe -- Cody Franson

Justin Falk -- Casey Nelson

Robin Lehner

Anders Nilsson 

Scratched: None

Injured: Ryan O'Reilly (mid-body), Dmitry Kulikov (undisclosed), Tyler Ennis (groin), Zach Bogosian (MCL sprain), Nicolas Deslauriers (knee), Jack Eichel (ankle), Cody McCormick (blood clots)


Blues projected lineup

Jaden Schwartz -- Paul Stastny -- Alexander Steen

Robby Fabbri -- Jori Lehtera -- Vladimir Tarasenko

David Perron -- Patrik Berglund -- Dmitrij Jaskin

Scottie Upshall -- Kyle Brodziak -- Ryan Reaves

Jay Bouwmeester -- Alex Pietrangelo

Carl Gunnarsson -- Kevin Shattenkirk

Petteri Lindbohm -- Colton Parayko

Jake Allen

Carter Hutton

Scratched: Nail Yakupov, Ty Rattie

Injured: Robert Bortuzzo (lower body), Joel Edmundson (upper body)


Status report

Falk will play with Nelson on the third defensive pairing; Rodrigues and Baptiste will be on the fourth line with Grant. It will be Rodrigues' third NHL game. "I kind of proved to myself that I can play here," Rodrigues said.. ... Bortuzzo skated Tuesday and Hitchcock said he will be a regular participant at practice on Wednesday. He could rejoin the lineup on Thursday. Edmundson skated on his own Tuesday, and Hitchcock said a further update will come later in the week.

Who's hot

Fabbri scored two goals Saturday, one game after being a healthy scratch for the first time in his career. Shattenkirk has a goal and five assists the past five games. ... Perron had three assists Saturday after having one point in the previous nine. ... Moulson has goals in back-to-back games after going eight games without one.

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