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Lightning at Sabres preview

Miller, Callahan return for Tampa Bay; Ullmark in goal for Buffalo

by Heather Engel / Correspondent

LIGHTNING (34-8-2) at SABRES (23-15-6)

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


The Game

Forwards J.T. Miller and Ryan Callahan will be back in the lineup for the Tampa Bay Lightning when they play the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center on Saturday.

Miller returns after missing six games with an upper-body injury. Callahan missed the past two games with an upper-body injury.

The NHL-leading Lightning are 9-1-0 in their past 10 games and 17-1-1 in their past 19 entering the first of back-to-back games. They play at the New York Islanders on Sunday.

The Sabres are playing the second of back-to-back games; they lost 4-3 at the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday. Buffalo is 3-6-1 in its past 10 games and has alternated wins and losses in its past four.


Players to watch

Lightning center Brayden Point has 19 points (seven goals, 12 assists) in his past 11 games, including six (four goals, two assists) in his past two.

Sabres forward Jeff Skinner has four goals in his past four games and is second in the NHL with 30.


They said it

"We've talked about it all season long why we have an advantage on a lot of teams is because whoever we throw in the lineup can come in and play and produce. When guys do get healthy, it's a bonus." -- Lightning captain Steven Stamkos on the team's depth

"We've got to clean up a little bit defensively to win more games consistently. It was nice to see our fight back there. We fought back and found a way to give ourselves a chance. We came up short, but we've got to bounce back tomorrow. Obviously playing a good team, we've a got to make sure we're a little bit better defensively." -- Sabres forward Jason Pominville after the loss to the Hurricanes


Lightning projected lineup

Ondrej Palat -- Steven Stamkos -- Alex Killorn

Tyler Johnson -- Brayden Point -- Nikita Kucherov

Adam Erne -- Anthony Cirelli -- Yanni Gourde

J.T. Miller -- Cedric Paquette -- Ryan Callahan

Victor Hedman -- Dan Girardi

Ryan McDonagh -- Erik Cernak

Braydon Coburn -- Anton Stralman

Louis Domingue

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Scratched: Mathieu Joseph, Danick Martel

Injured: None


Sabres projected lineup

Jeff Skinner -- Jack Eichel -- Sam Reinhart

Conor Sheary -- Vladimir Sobotka -- Tage Thompson

Evan Rodrigues -- Johan Larsson -- Kyle Okposo

Zemgus Girgensons -- Casey Mittelstadt -- Jason Pominville

Lawrence Pilut -- Rasmus Ristolainen

Rasmus Dahlin -- Zach Bogosian

Marco Scandella -- Jake McCabe

Linus Ullmark

Carter Hutton

Scratched: Nathan Beaulieu, Matt Hunwick, Remi Elie

Injured: Casey Nelson (upper body)


Status report

Domingue will make his first start since Dec. 20, a 5-4 shootout win against the Calgary Flames. … The Sabres did not hold a morning skate. Ullmark will start after Hutton played against Carolina.


Stat pack

The Lightning are 8-1-1 in their past 10 road games. Kucherov has 24 points (seven goals, 17 assists) in his past 10 games. He's had multiple points in eight of those games. … The Sabres are 3-6-1 in their past 10 games against Tampa Bay.

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