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Game Preview: Sabres Head to Vegas

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Buffalo faces newest expansion team for first time

NHL: Boston Bruins at Vegas Golden Knights Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports

Game #7

Buffalo Sabres (1-4-1) vs. Vegas Golden Knights (4-1-0)

Puck drop: 10:00 p.m. EST | T-Mobile Arena | Las Vegas, NV

TV: MSG

Radio: WGR 550

SB Nation Golden Knights blog: Knights on Ice

What to Watch

1. Vegas is good – but goaltending a Q?

The Golden Knights are only five games into their inaugural season, but they’ve been doing pretty well so far. Their only loss came in a 6-3 game against Detroit on Friday; they followed that up with a 3-1 win over Boston Sunday.

One spot, however, where the Golden Knights lineup might be questionable: goaltending. Marc-Andre Fleury was poised as the team’s starting goaltender, but missed Sunday’s game and was put on injured reserve. This pushed Malcolm Subban into the limelight for just his third NHL game – and he was able to secure his first NHL win. Maxime Lagace backed him up.

If he plays tonight, this will be Subban’s first time facing the Sabres. This could give Buffalo a chance to test their offensive prowess on the newly-minted netminder – but only if the Sabres find their way to the net.

2. Finally – a win!

The Sabres spent the first few games of the season searching for a victory, which they finally found against the Anaheim Ducks this past weekend. As the team closes out its Western road swing with tonight’s game in Vegas, can the Sabres build off that momentum and come with another W?

Following tonight’s game, the Sabres will have a few days of rest before they return to action on Friday, hosting the Vancouver Canucks. That game opens a back-to-back series, as the team then travels to Boston on Saturday.

It’s still early in the season, but the patience of fans is already being tested. The win over the Ducks was good – but now, it’s up to the Sabres to be strong going forward and push their way to more victories.

3. Will Justin Bailey provide more offensive input?

Bailey was a much-needed recall from the AHL’s Rochester Americans ahead of Sunday’s game. He’s already found the board with the Amerks this season with two goals and was able to continue to showcase his offensive prowess with a goal against the Ducks. Bailey was also a plus-1 and registered three shots on goal.

Can he bring that offensive spark into Tuesday’s game against Vegas?

Projected Lineup

9 Evander Kane - 15 Jack Eichel - 29 Jason Pominville

23 Sam Reinhart - 90 Ryan O'Reilly - 21 Kyle Okposo

67 Benoit Pouliot - 22 Johan Larsson - 95 Justin Bailey

17 Jordan Nolan - 28 Zemgus Girgensons - 26 Matt Moulson

6 Marco Scandella - 55 Rasmus Ristolainen

82 Nathan Beaulieu - 5 Matt Tennyson

4 Josh Gorges - 19 Jake McCabe

Starting Goaltender: 31 Chad Johnson