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Lightning vs. Sabres preview

Hedman returns for Tampa Bay in Global Series; Buffalo 1-3-1 in past five games

by Shawn P. Roarke @sroarke_nhl / Senior Director of Editorial

LIGHTNING (6-5-2) vs. SABRES (9-4-2)

2 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN1, NHL.TV 


The Game 

The Tampa Bay Lightning and the Buffalo Sabres each will be looking to get back on track when they play the first game of the 2019 NHL Global Series at Ericsson Globe in Stockholm.

Tampa Bay is 1-2-1 in its past four games and has failed to win consecutive games in regulation this season.

Buffalo is 1-3-1 in its past five games and has been outscored 15-7.

The game will feature seven Sweden-born players. The Sabres have six: goalie Linus Ullmark, defensemen Rasmus Dahlin and Lawrence Pilut, and forwards Marcus Johansson, Victor Olofsson and Johan Larsson. Defenseman Victor Hedman is the only Sweden-born player for the Lightning.

Hedman, who has missed the past two games after sustaining a lower-body injury on Oct. 29, will play.

The second Global Series game is Saturday.


Players to watch

Lightning defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk has three assists and seven shots on goal in his past two games, playing an average of 20:28 per game.

Olofsson has six goals this season, all on the power play. He was named Rookie of the Month for October.


They said it

"I would be lying if I said this was just another regular-season game. It's obviously a little bit different. But at the end of the day, we know it is two big games. I can't wait for tomorrow. -- Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman on balancing the hype of playing division games in Sweden

"I think the work with Rasmus was done last week, not this week, so he was completely aware of what is coming at him and the expectations here in Sweden. He's managing it really well. He's excited to play and that is where he needs to be. He needs to have fun through these two games. …It will be a wonderful opportunity for Sweden to see him first hand." -- Sabres coach Ralph Krueger on defenseman Rasmus Dahlin playing in his home country 


Lightning projected lineup 

Tyler Johnson - Brayden Point -- Nikita Kucherov
Ondrej Palat - Steven Stamkos - Alexander Volkov
Alex Killorn -- Anthony Cirelli - Mathieu Joseph
Pat Maroon -- Cedric Paquette -- Yanni Gourde
Victor Hedman -- Kevin Shattenkirk
Ryan McDonagh -- Erik Cernak
Mikhail Sergachev - Luke Schenn
Andrei Vasilevskiy
Curtis McElhinney
Scratched: Braydon Coburn, Carter Verhaeghe, Jan Rutta
Injured: None

Sabres projected lineup

Victor Olofsson -- Jack Eichel -- Sam Reinhart
Jeff Skinner -- Marcus Johansson -- Vladimir Sobotka
Jimmy Vesey -- Casey Mittelstadt -- Conor Sheary
Zemgus Girgensons -- Johan Larsson -- Kyle Okposo
Jake McCabe -- Rasmus Ristolainen
Rasmus Dahlin -- Henri Jokiharju
Brandon Montour -- Colin Miller
Linus Ullmark
Carter Hutton
Scratched: John Gilmour, Evan Rodrigues, Lawrence Pilut
Injured: Marco Scandella (lower body), Zach Bogosian (hip) 


Status report

Krueger said that Scandella was close to returning but won't play this weekend. …Maroon is likely to return to the lineup after missing the past two games. ... Hedman participated in his second practice in Sweden on Thursday. 


Stat pack

Palat has two goals and two assists in the past two games. He had three points against the New Jersey Devils on Oct. 30, his first three-point game since 2017. … Ristolainen is averaging 24:14 per game, 3:10 more than any other player on the Sabres.

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