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Sabres at Blues: Two slumps enter, one slump leaves

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Two teams desperate for a win face off tonight in St. Louis.

NHL: Buffalo Sabres at St. Louis Blues Billy Hurst-USA TODAY Sports

Game #16

Buffalo Sabres (5-6-4) at St. Louis Blues (7-6-3)

Puck drop: 8:00 p.m. EST | Scottrade Center | St. Louis, MO

TV: MSG-B, FS-MW | Radio: WGR 550

SB Nation’s Blues Blog: St. Louis Game Time

Two Questions

1. Will the Sabres continue to struggle against St. Louis?

They don’t play often, being in opposite conferences and all, but the Buffalo Sabres haven’t beaten the Blues in their last eight tries, going 0-7-1. After only earning two points in their last four games, the Sabres desperately need a win to keep close in the playoff race while they wait for injured players like Eichel, O’Reilly, Ennis, and Bogosian to return.

The good news is that St. Louis has a worse goal differential than Buffalo, aren’t nearly as stingy as some of the team’s more recent opponents, and have also lost their past three games. The bad news is that the Blues are very good at home, going 5-1-2 in the Scottrade Center.

2. Can the injury reinforcements contribute in any significant way tonight?

According to yesterday’s practice, William Carrier could get a chance to play with the top line tonight, a top line that will be without Ryan O’Reilly. Carrier’s speed and simple physical game have translated well to the NHL, and the Sabres coaches have taken notice. Nick Baptiste, Justin Falk, and Evan Rodrigues will also play tonight for the injury-riddled Sabres, and the more the injuries pile up, the more the young kids will need to step up.

Projected BUF Lines

48 William Carrier - 23 Sam Reinhart - 21 Kyle Okposo

82 Marcus Foligno - 22 Johan Larsson - 12 Brian Gionta

Evander Kane - 28 Zemgus Girgensons - 26 Matt Moulson

71 Evan Rodrigues - 27 Derek Grant - 73 Nicholas Baptiste

Josh Gorges - 55 Rasmus Ristolainen

41 Justin Falk - 34 Casey Nelson

29 Jake McCabe - 6 Cody Franson

Goal: 40 Robin Lehner