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Morning Skate | Cozens to skate alongside Hall, Eichel vs. Isles

News and notes going into Saturday's game

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber /

Dylan Cozens will skate on a line with Taylor Hall and Jack Eichel when the Buffalo Sabres continue their three-game set with the New York Islanders at Nassau Coliseum on Saturday. 

Cozens skated 5:12 alongside Eichel at 5-on-5 during Buffalo's loss to New York on Thursday (according to, his first sustianed ice time with the Sabres captain this season.

"Dylan has the understanding of what he needs to do and that's keep playing the game he's playing," Sabres coach Ralph Krueger said. "He's first on pucks on lots of forechecks. He's really strong on his tracking and his decision making coming back defensively. 

"He's able to make plays under pressure and under stress and also protect the puck really well. We just want him to keep building on those fundamentals and doing nothing different because he's playing with Jack Eichel and Taylor Hall."

The Sabres are looking to snap a five-game winless streak (0-4-1) that continued with the loss to the Islanders on Thursday. They are winless in four games against the Islanders this season, all of which have comes since they returned from a two-week pause on Feb. 15. 

The Islanders are undefeated in regulation at Nassau Coliseum at 8-0-2 and are tied with the Capitals atop the East Division standings.

"It's truly not only starting well today but maintaining that focus right through 60 minutes," Krueger said. "It's been an issue. We've been drifting in and out of the principles we want to execute within. We had a good chat with the players yesterday. 

"They're quite clear on what we need to do to be a successful team, what are the habits that we feel when we're in control of a game and what slips when we lose control. We lost control at times last game."

Coverage on MSG begins at 6:30 p.m. You can listen to the game on WGR 550 with puck drop set for 1. 

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