Buffalo Sabres (12-11-6) at Carolina Hurricanes (12-11-6)
Puck drop: 7:00 p.m. EST | PNC Arena | Raleigh, NC
TV: MSG, FS-CR | Radio: WGR 550
SB Nation’s Hurricanes Blog: Canes Country
1. Will Zach Bogosian play tonight?
The injured Bogosian has been skating with the team for the past few days, and head coach Dan Bylsma said he "might" make the trip down to Carolina. With Bylsma not speaking to the media until this evening, we won’t know for sure, but it’s worth noting that Taylor Fedun was sent back to Rochester today.
Also of concern is how Jack Eichel is feeling after getting shoved head-first into the boards last night by Johnny Boychuk. Eichel played the rest of the game, but how does he feel now that the adrenaline of a close game is gone?
2. Who will stay hot tonight?
Here are the point totals for various Sabres players over the past few weeks:
Ristolainen - 13 points in his last 11 games
Okposo - 12 points in 11 games
ROR - 8 points in 8 games
Eichel - 8 points in 8 games
Kane - 7 points in last 8 games
Those are some nice numbers, and the Sabres have even been getting a bit of secondary scoring from guys like Gionta, Foligno, and Larsson lately. Here’s hoping the good time continue to roll for the Sabres top players.
3. Who will win on special teams?
This is a question we seem to be asking every game, but it’s important again tonight for two reasons. One, the Sabres penalty kill can’t seem to stop the mites at intermission these days let alone the #6 power play in the NHL that the Hurricanes are bringing.
Second, Carolina leads the NHL on the penalty kill, taking care of business 91.3% of the time. It’ll be tough for the Sabres to get anything done on both sides of the special teams coin, but considering how they’re still finding their 5-on-5 legs, it’ll be an important battle tonight in Raleigh.
Projected BUF Lines
48 William Carrier - 90 Ryan O’Reilly - 23 Sam Reinhart
26 Matt Moulson - 15 Jack Eichel - 21 Kyle Okposo
82 Marcus Foligno - 22 Johan Larsson - 12 Brian Gionta
44 Nicolas Deslauriers - 28 Zemgus Girgensons - 9 Evander Kane
29 Jake McCabe - 55 Rasmus Ristolainen
77 Dmitry Kulikov - 6 Cody Franson
4 Josh Gorges - 41 Justin Falk
Goal: 40 Robin Lehner