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Preview: I’ve Got the Blues

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Sabres cap off roadtrip in St. Louis

NHL: St. Louis Blues at Buffalo Sabres Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Game #30

Buffalo Sabres (7-17-5) vs. St. Louis Blues (20-8-2)

Puck drop: 7:00 p.m. EST | Scottrade Center | St. Louis, MO

TV: MSG

Radio: WGR 550

SB Nation Blues blog: St. Louis Game Time

What to Watch

1. Lehner back in goal, once again.

The Sabres once again look to Robin Lehner in goal for tonight’s game against St. Louis, which closes out Buffalo’s three-game roadstand.

Lehner has stopped 83 of 88 shots he’s faced on this road trip, which opened with a win in Colorado followed by Friday night’s loss in Chicago. Overall, Lehner is 6-12-0-3- this season with a 2.92 GAA and .909 save percentage on the season.

Meanwhile, Chad Johnson’s most recent game came on December 2.

2. Girgensons in, Nolan out

The Sabres will shake things up in the lineup, but in a minimal way. Jordan Nolan comes out of the lineup, with Zemgus Girgensons replacing him.

Girgensons has struggled this season, putting up just three points (1-2) in 24 games played. Nolan is only slightly better offensively, with four points (2-2) in 27 games.

Will this be the difference-maker in tonight’s game? Realistically, probably not, but at this point, Housley has to shake something up. Girgensons has been a healthy scratch the past two games, so maybe he brings a sense of desperation to tonight’s game.

3. Frustrations running high

Night after night, the recurring theme seems to be: frustration. Fans are frustrated, players are frustrated. Look no further than Jack Eichel’s comments after Friday’s OT loss in Chicago to get a feeling for the emotion in the locker room.

At some point, frustration has to boil over into energy and translate into either offensive play, defensive play or physicality.

After tonight’s game, the Sabres have a slate of contests against fellow Eastern Conference opponents, starting with Ottawa at home on Tuesday.

Know Your Opponent

1. Injuries galore

The Blues placed Jaden Schwartz on injured reserve, which will force them to shake up their lines. Schwartz was injured in the first period of Saturday’s game against Detroit. He’s expected to miss six weeks.

Alex Pietrangelo, Blues captain, is also out for tonight’s game. He’s considered day-to-day with an injury he sustained Saturday night.

2. AHL recall

To fill in Schwartz’s spot, the Blues recalled Ivan Barbashev from the AHL’s Chicago Wolves. He’s expected to be in the lineup tonight against Buffalo.

Barbashev has eight points (4-4) in 17 games with the Wolves this season.

3. Blues are streaking

St. Louis is on a three-game winning streak entering tonight’s game, but head coach Mike Yeo noted that the team isn’t taking tonight’s game against the Sabres lightly.

Buffalo will have to battle hard against the streaking Blues team to fight for a win tonight.

Projected Lineup

9 Evander Kane - 15 Jack Eichel - 29 Jason Pominville

67 Benoit Pouliot - 90 Ryan O'Reilly - 21 Kyle Okposo

20 Scott Wilson - 71 Evan Rodrigues - 23 Sam Reinhart

28 Zemgus Girgensons - 22 Johan Larsson - 24 Hudson Fasching

6 Marco Scandella - 55 Rasmus Ristolainen

19 Jake McCabe - 47 Zach Bogosian

41 Justin Falk - 93 Victor Antipin

40 Robin Lehner

31 Chad Johnson