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Bogosian, Okposo will be game-time decisions in New Jersey

Lineup will be decided after pregame warmups

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber /

NEWARK, N.J. - Kyle Okposo and Zach Bogosian will be game-time decisions for the Buffalo Sabres' game against the New Jersey Devils tonight at Prudential Center. 

Okposo and Bogosian both skated this morning, but their status will be determined after taking the ice for warmups. Okposo left Buffalo's loss to New York on Friday after a third-period fight with defenseman Tony DeAngelo; Bogosian returned that night after missing two games with a lower-body injury.

Casey Mittelstadt could also return to the lineup after skating as a full participant in practice on Saturday. Mittelstadt has missed the past two games due to a lower-body injury.


The Sabres will be without defenseman Marco Scandella, who is still in Buffalo being evaluated for an injury. Casey Nelson was recalled from a conditioning stint in Rochester this afternoon but will not suit up against the Devils.

Carter Hutton will get the nod in net for the Sabres, who are looking to rebound from the 6-2 loss to the Rangers.

"They came to work with the right attitude, we worked on some areas of focus," coach Phil Housley said. "They were refocused, they had some good energy, so I expect them to implement that in the game tonight."

Coverage on MSG-B begins at 5:30 p.m. with the GMC Game Night pregame show, or you can listen live on WGR 550. The puck drops at 6. 


Scouting the Devils

This will be the second of three meetings this season between the Sabres and Devils, with the Sabres having won the first matchup, 5-1, in Buffalo on Jan. 8. Fourteen different Sabres recorded a point during a five-goal second period, including C.J. Smith and Lawrence Pilut's first NHL goals.

"We moved our feet and we were on the attack," Housley said. "Our forecheck, we were pretty tenacious. We turned some pucks over and we were opportunistic in our scoring. But I think it goes back to just the way we managed the puck in the neutral zone. We didn't force things that weren't there, we transitioned quickly and that's going to be a big focus tonight."

The Devils were without reigning Hart Trophy winner Taylor Hall in that first meeting, and he remains absent due to a lower-body injury. New Jersey will also be without forwards Blake Coleman, Stefan Noesen and Pavel Zacha as well as defenseman Sami Vatanen. 

Cory Schneider will start in net for New Jersey. He stopped all 15 shots he faced in relief of Keith Kinkaid in Minnesota on Thursday, earning his first win since December 2017. 


Numbers to know

7 - Mittelstadt had scored seven points (2+5) in 10 games leading up to his injury. If he plays, he's expected to skate on a line with Evan Rodrigues and Sam Reinhart.

8 - Jack Eichel (2+6) and Jeff Skinner (5+3) both recorded eight points during the Sabres' seven-game homestand, which was tied for the longest in franchise history. Five of their next six games will be played on the road.

83.9 - That's the Devils' success rate on the penalty kill this season, which ranks third in the NHL. Defensemen Andy Greene (3:58) and Ben Lovejoy (3:47) lead the league in shorthanded ice time per game. 

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