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Sabres vs. Lightning preview: All your favorite players are injured

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The Sabres open a four game home stand by hosting the Lightning, and with a five game losing streak on their shoulders.

NHL: Tampa Bay Lightning at Buffalo Sabres Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Game #17

Buffalo Sabres (5-7-4) vs. Tampa Bay Lightning (10-6-1)

Puck drop: 7:00 p.m. EST | KeyBank Center | Buffalo, NY

TV: MSG-B, Sun, NHL.tv | Radio: WGR 550

SB Nation’s Lightning Blog: Raw Charge

Three Questions

1. Which team’s injuries will have a bigger impact tonight?

We all know about the Sabres injury woes, with Eichel, O’Reilly, Bogosian, Kulikov, and Ennis all on the shelf, but the Lightning are going through a similar (albeit smaller) string of injuries to important players.

Steven Stamkos, and Anton Stralman won’t play, and Jonathan Drouin is playing his first game back from injury. Stamkos and Stralman are both big losses, but will the Lightning’s depth behind them win the day? (Spoiler alert: probably.)

2. How will Taylor Fedun look in his Sabres debut?

Fedun is in for Casey Nelson, who was sent back to Rochester, and will pair with Justin Falk on the "AHL-4-Lyfe" third pairing.

3. Will the Sabres score more than one goal tonight?

Buffalo has just five goals in their last five games, and is now officially dead last in the NHL with 30 goals in 16 games, a blistering (as in I wish my eyes would blister over) 1.88 goals per game average. Tamps is in the middle of the pack, allowing 2.59 goals per game, so the Sabres have at least a puncher’s chance of scoring two tonight. Oh what a night that would be.

Projected BUF Lines

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

Josh Gorges - 55 Rasmus Ristolainen
29 Jake McCabe - 6 Cody Franson
41 Justin Falk - 38 Taylor Fedun

Goal: 40 Robin Lehner