Buffalo Sabres (15-21-4) at
Chicago Blackhawks (25-13-4)
1. Can the first pairing answer the bell?
Dan Bylsma said he wasn't trying to send a message when Rasmus Ristolainen was the extra defenseman yesterday, explaining that he just hoped to get Zach Bogosian practice on his off-side. Yet, he still did call out the top air a bit. Josh Gorges agreed, saying that he and Rasmus have been good, but they need to be great. Will they be able to shut down the Blackhawks' high-powered offense?
2. Can the Sabres score without Jack Eichel or Ryan O'Reilly on the ice?
The Sabres roster isn't scoring unless the team's top-two scorers are on the ice. Can the Sabres get any scoring from the bottom two lines, featuring some goal scorers who have seriously under-achieved this season (Foligno, Larsson, Gionta and Moulson)? This may be a question until it happens.
3. Can the Sabres end their five-game losing steak?
The Sabres haven't won a game since Dec. 25, pushing them down to only one point ahead of the last place Columbus Blue Jackets. Chicago is a tough team to face when you're trying to reverse that trend, but hey, any team can win on any given night, right?
Projected BUF Lines
Kane - O'Reilly - Reinhart
Girgensons - Eichel - McGinn
Foligno - Larsson - Gionta
Moulson - Schaller - Legwand
Gorges - Ristolainen
Bogosian - McCabe
Colaiacovo - Franson
Goal: Chad Johnson