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Sabres at Canucks preview: Late nite hockey

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Can the Sabres sweep their season series with the Canucks? You can find out, if you want to stay up late.

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Game #28

Buffalo Sabres (11-13-3) at
Vancouver Canucks (10-15-2)

Puck Drop: 10:00 pm EST | Rogers Arena | Vancouver, BC
TV: MSG, Bell TV, SNP | Radio: WGR 550
SB Nation Canucks Blog: Nucks Misconduct

Three Questions

1. How much energy will the Sabres have playing back-to-back on the West Coast?

After an easy week schedule-wise, the Sabres have a tough ask here playing two games in two nights, three time zones away from home. And with the late start (in East Coast time, the game will start at 7pm in Vancouver) will the team have anything left by the third period tonight?

2. What will the faceoff numbers look like?

The Canucks are the worst team in the league on the draw, winning just 46.9% of their faceoffs. The Sabres are a respectable 16th with a 49.6 winning percentage thanks to Ryan O'Reilly's dominance in the circle. The Canucks top two centerman, Henrik Sedin and Bo Horvat, are actually both above 50%, but the horrid, mid-30% numbers from their bottom six centermen are driving their team percentage down.

3. Will Girgensons play after taking a puck to the face?

Zemgus left yesterday's game against the Oilers after blocking a puck with his face, and got stitched up after the game. Dan Bylsma said after the game he wasn't sure if Girgensons would be good to go tonight, but if he isn't, it would likely mean the Sabres debut of Cal O'Reilly, who was recalled for this road trip.

Projected BUF lines

Kane - R. O'Reilly - Reinhart
McGinn - Eichel - Gionta
Larsson - Girgensons/C. O'Reilly - Moulson
Deslauriers - Legwand - Foligno

Gorges - Ristolainen
Colaiacovo - Bogosian
McCabe - Franson

Goal: Linus Ullmark

Projected VAN lines

D. Sedin - H. Sedin - Hansen
Higgins - Horvat - Vrbata
Baertschi - Cracknell - Burrows
Prust - McCann - Dorsett

Edler - Tanev
Hamhuis - Weber
Biega - Bartkowski

Goal: Ryan Miller