Buffalo Sabres (12-11-8) vs. Carolina Hurricanes (13-11-7)
Puck drop: 7:00 p.m. EST | KeyBank Center | Buffalo, NY
TV: MSG, FS-CR | Radio: WGR 550
SB Nation’s Hurricanes Blog: Canes Country
1. Who will come out on top - the Sabres power play or the Canes PK?
The Sabres have a very good power play - 4th in the league in fact. But the Hurricanes have an even better penalty kill - 1st in the league, wouldn’t you know. These two teams are two of the least penalized in the entire NHL, so we may not see many chances, but this match up of strength versus strength should be interesting to watch.
2. Can this game please not go to a shootout?
The Sabres worked on their shootout in practice yesterday (Hooray!) after going 1-5 this season in the skills competition. It’s important to end these games in late December before overtime not just because of how terrible Buffalo has been past the 60-minute mark, but also because these games are all against teams packed right next to each other in the standings.
Games against Carolina, Florida, Detroit, and especially Boston in the upcoming weeks will help shape the playoff picture for better or worse in Buffalo. Giving extra points away isn’t helping the cause, regardless of the team’s (awful) overtime record.
Projected BUF Lines
82 Marcus Foligno - 90 Ryan O’Reilly - 23 Sam Reinhart
26 Matt Moulson - 15 Jack Eichel - 21 Kyle Okposo
9 Evander Kane - 22 Johan Larsson - 12 Brian Gionta
48 William Carrier - 27 Derek Grant - 28 Zemgus Girgensons
29 Jake McCabe - 55 Rasmus Ristolainen
77 Dmitry Kulikov - 47 Zach Bogosian
4 Josh Gorges - 6 Cody Franson
Goal: 40 Robin Lehner