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game preview

Lightning at Sabres preview

Tampa Bay looks to win fourth game in a row; Buffalo has lost three straight

by Heather Engel / Independent Correspondent

LIGHTNING (20--13--4) at SABRES (17-16--7)

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


The Game

The Tampa Lightning will look to extend their winning streak to four games when they play the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center on Tuesday.

The Lightning are 6-2-1 in their past nine games and have won six in a row against the Sabres. With a win, they can sweep the season series against Buffalo for the second time (4-0-0 in 2016-17).

The Sabres have lost three straight and are 1-5-1 in their past seven. They've been outscored 22-10 in that stretch.


Players to watch

Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman has eight points (two goals, six assists) in a three-game point streak.

Sabres center Jack Eichel has 33 points (16 goals, 17 assists) in his past 21 games and six points (one goal, five assists) in his past six games against the Lightning.


They said it

"We understand we're 3-0 against them this year but those games were all pretty darn close and very competitive. 
This is most definitely a different Buffalo team than we've seen in the past. Pretty dynamic group led by their captain (Eichel). If there was a time in the past where you might be able to come in here and take them lightly, you definitely can't do that anymore." -- Lightning coach Jon Cooper

"You've got to match up well against their skill. Obviously, there's a lot of will over there; they have some good role players that play a big part in their team success. We need to find a way to match their intensity and try to play our game as much as possible." -- Sabres center Jack Eichel


Lightning projected lineup

Ondrej Palat -- Brayden Point -- Nikita Kucherov

Alex Killorn -- Anthony Cirelli -- Steven Stamkos

Pat Maroon -- Cedric Paquette -- Mitchell Stephens

Yanni Gourde -- Tyler Johnson -- Carter Verhaeghe

Victor Hedman -- Luke Schenn

Ryan McDonagh -- Erik Cernak

Mikhail Sergachev -- Kevin Shattenkirk

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Curtis McElhinney

Scratched: Braydon Coburn

Injured: Jan Rutta (undisclosed) 


Sabres projected lineup

Victor Olofsson -- Jack Eichel -- Sam Reinhart

Conor Sheary -- Marcus Johansson -- Rasmus Asplund

Zemgus Girgensons -- Johan Larsson -- Kyle Okposo

Dalton Smith -- Curtis Lazar -- Jimmy Vesey

Jake McCabe -- Rasmus Ristolainen

Rasmus Dahlin -- Brandon Montour

Marco Scandella -- Henri Jokiharju

Linus Ullmark

Carter Hutton

Scratched: Evan Rodrigues, Colin Miller, Zach Bogosian

Injured: Jeff Skinner (upper body), Tage Thompson (upper body), Vladimir Sobotka (lower body)


Status report

Scandella returns after missing two games because of an illness. … Smith was recalled from Rochester of the American Hockey League on Monday and could make his NHL debut. He was selected by the Columbus Blue Jackets with the No. 34 pick in the 2010 NHL Draft.


Stat pack

Reinhart is one goal away from 100 in the NHL. … Olofsson has 20 points (nine goals, 11 assists) in his past 20 games. … Killorn will play in his 553rd NHL game, passing Brad Richards for sixth-most in Lightning history. … Johnson's 14 career assists against the Sabres are the most he has against any NHL team.

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