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O'Reilly, Kulikov out against Devils

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber /

NEWARK N.J. - If the Sabres are going to solve their recent scoring troubles in a rematch with the New Jersey Devils on Saturday night, they'll have to do it without one of their top scorers. Ryan O'Reilly will miss the game after he aggravated a preexisting injury during a faceoff in the third period against the Devils on Friday.  

O'Reilly remains day-to-day, according to Sabres coach Dan Bylsma. Defenseman Dmitry Kulikov will also miss his second game in a row. The two players will be replaced in the lineup by Cole Schneider and Justin Falk, respectively. 

Falk made his season debut for Kulikov on Friday and skated 12:24 of ice time.

"He looked comfortable, looked like he'd been here all year for us," Bylsma said. "I thought he played big and strong, had poise with the puck in needed situations. I thought he played a good game."

The Sabres enter the night having scored one goal or less in three consecutive games, including in their 2-1 overtime loss to the Devils on Friday. Buffalo is 0-1-2 in that stretch.

"I think even with Ryan, we need to get more pucks to the net," Bylsma said. "We're a little bit trying to defy the odds with scoring goals. You need to get as many pucks there as you possibly can. That's both on the rush, it's one the offensive zone, it's getting more pucks there with people … We've just got to be more determined on getting pucks there." 

Robin Lehner will start in net for Buffalo and will oppose New Jersey goalie Cory Schneider. 

Coverage on Saturday begins with the TOPS Pregame Show at 6:30 p.m., or you can listen live on WGR 550. The puck drops between the Sabres and Devils at 7 p.m.


Projected lineup

9 Evander Kane - 23 Sam Reinhart - 21 Kyle Okposo
82 Marcus Foligno - 22 Johan Larsson - 12 Brian Gionta
48 William Carrier - 28 Zemgus Girgensons - 26 Matt Moulson
10 Cole Schneider - 27 Derek Grant - 73 Nicholas Baptiste

4 Josh Gorges - 55 Rasmus Ristolainen
29 Jake McCabe - 6 Cody Franson
41 Justin Falk - 34 Casey Nelson

40 Robin Lehner 
31 Anders Nilsson

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