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Preview: Canucks at Sabres

Goalie Jacob Markstrom starts for Vancouver; Buffalo's Robin Lehner to play back-to-back games

by Joe Yerdon / NHL.com Correspondent

CANUCKS (24-25-6) at SABRES (23-22-10)

7:30 p.m. ET; MSG-B, SNP, NHL.TV

 

Canucks team scope

Goalie Jacob Markstrom will start for the Vancouver Canucks after Ryan Miller made 26 saves in a 4-3 loss at the Boston Bruins on Saturday. The Canucks have lost five of their past six games. "Every game right now we need 60 minutes to win," Markstrom told the Canucks website. "We can't give up too many scoring chances. We have to be sharp and have a good 60-minute game." Vancouver trails the Nashville Predators by six points for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference. "We've just got to get points; we know that," coach Willie Desjardins said. "We've been close in all the games. They've all been late, pulled the goaltenders late. We could've had points in them so we just have to take that next step and get points and that's going to be a battle. We're playing good teams, we know that, and we know that's the way it's going to be. If you asked us, 'Is this what we thought?' Yeah, this is what we thought. They're going to be tight games and they're going to be hard games to get points." The Canucks play the fourth of a six-game road trip.

 

Sabres team scope

Goalie Robin Lehner will start for the Buffalo Sabres. Lehner, who made a season-high 43 saves in a 3-1 victory against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday, starts back-to-back games for the first time since Jan. 16-17 and is one win from 50 in his NHL career. "[We've] been looking for this opportunity to give Robin a bigger workload," coach Dan Bylsma said. "He's getting an opportunity tonight." The Sabres have the No. 1 power play in the NHL (23.8 percent), which has helped them get to within five points of the second wild card into the playoffs from the Eastern Conference. "Our unit is starting to become really familiar with each other and we seem to kind of know our release plays and we know where each other is going to be and that's a really big thing on a power play," right wing Kyle Okposo said. "And I think the other unit's been great, too. They've contributed with some big goals and they've been doing their job."

 

Canucks projected lineup

Daniel Sedin -- Henrik Sedin -- Markus Granlund

Alexandre Burrows -- Bo Horvat -- Jannik Hansen

Jayson Megna -- Brandon Sutter -- Loui Eriksson

Jack Skille -- Michael Chaput -- Reid Boucher

Alexander Edler -- Troy Stecher

Luca Sbisa -- Christopher Tanev

Alex Biega -- Nikita Tryamkin

Jacob Markstrom

Ryan Miller

Scratched: Philip Larsen, Ben Hutton

Injured: Derek Dorsett (neck), Erik Gudbranson (wrist), Anton Rodin (knee), Sven Baertschi (concussion)

 

Sabres projected lineup

Justin Bailey -- Ryan O'Reilly -- Kyle Okposo

Evander Kane -- Jack Eichel -- Sam Reinhart

Marcus Foligno -- Evan Rodrigues -- Brian Gionta

Matt Moulson -- Derek Grant -- Tyler Ennis

Jake McCabe -- Rasmus Ristolainen

Josh Gorges -- Dmitry Kulikov

Justin Falk -- Taylor Fedun

Robin Lehner

Anders Nilsson

Scratched: Nicolas Deslauriers

Injured: Cody Franson (foot), Zemgus Girgensons (mid body), Zach Bogosian (ribs), William Carrier (knee), Johan Larsson (wrist)

 

Status report

The Canucks will use the same lineup, with the exception of Markstrom, from Saturday. … The Sabres did not hold a morning skate.

 

Who's hot

Granlund (2-1-2) and Edler (1-2-3) are each on three-game point streaks. … Okposo is on a five-game point streak (2-3-5). … Eichel (1-5-6) and Reinhart (1-3-4) are each on three-game point streaks.

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