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Canucks at Sabres preview

Vancouver has lost two straight; Eichel can match NHL career high in goals

by Heather Engel / Independent Correspondent

CANUCKS (23-17-4) at SABRES (19-18-7)

1 p.m. ET; SN, MSG-B, NHL.TV


The Game

Jack Eichel can match his NHL career high in goals when the Buffalo Sabres play the Vancouver Canucks at KeyBank Center on Saturday.

Eichel scored his 27th goal in his 43rd game, a 5-1 loss at the St. Louis Blues on Thursday, extending his point streak to five games (three goals, two assists). The Sabres captain set his NHL high with 28 goals in 77 games last season.

The Sabres, who are 2-5-0 in their past seven games, are 13-5-3 at home this season.

The Canucks have lost two in a row after a seven-game winning streak and have been outscored 14-4 in those losses. Vancouver, which will play the third game of a five-game road trip, is 9-12-1 on the road.


Players to watch

Canucks center Bo Horvat has eight points (two goals, six assists) in his past five games.

Sabres forward Marcus Johansson has six points (one goal, five assists) in his past five games.


They said it

"It's just a matter of dialing in our little details. Our team can play a winning style. We have that (mentality) in our dressing room and we just have to get back to it." -- Canucks goalie Thatcher Demko

"You look at some of the teams at home and on the road and a lot of teams play a little bit differently. I'm not sure what to attribute that to but just the confidence of being at home, in our building, making it a tough place to play, it's something that we wanted to do all season." -- Sabres forward Kyle Okposo


Canucks projected lineup

J.T. Miller -- Elias Pettersson -- Jake Virtanen

Tanner Pearson -- Bo Horvat -- Loui Eriksson

Antoine Roussel -- Adam Gaudette -- Brock Boeser

Tyler Motte -- Jay Beagle -- Tim Schaller

Quinn Hughes -- Christopher Tanev

Alexander Edler -- Tyler Myers

Jordie Benn -- Troy Stecher

Jacob Markstrom

Thatcher Demko

Scratched: Oscar Fantenberg

Injured: Josh Leivo (kneecap), Brandon Sutter (upper body), Micheal Ferland (upper body), Tyler Graovac (lower body)


Sabres projected lineup

Jimmy Vesey -- Jack Eichel -- Sam Reinhart

Conor Sheary -- Marcus Johansson -- Michael Frolik

Zemgus Girgensons -- Johan Larsson -- Kyle Okposo

Scott Wilson -- Curtis Lazar -- Evan Rodrigues

Jake McCabe -- Rasmus Ristolainen

Rasmus Dahlin -- Brandon Montour

Lawrence Pilut -- Henri Jokiharju

Linus Ullmark

Carter Hutton

Scratched: Zach Bogosian, Colin Miller

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


Status report

Girgensons did not practice Friday but Sabres coach Ralph Krueger said he is expected to play. … McCabe could return after missing the game Thursday with an upper-body injury. … The Canucks did practice Friday; only Markstrom and Fantenberg, a defenseman, skated.


Stat pack

Sheary will play his 300th NHL game. … Reinhart has scored in each of his past four games against the Canucks. … Pearson's next goal will be his 100th in the NHL. … Edler is two goals away from 100.

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