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
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
9 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
4 Josh Gorges - 55 Rasmus Ristolainen
29 Jake McCabe - 6 Cody Franson
41 Justin Falk - 38 Taylor Fedun
Goal: 40 Robin Lehner