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Sabres vs Blues Preview: Tough matinee game

Buffalo will face an uphill battle to try and get their third win in a row.

NHL: Buffalo Sabres at St. Louis Blues Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Game #59

Buffalo Sabres (25-23-10) vs. St. Louis Blues (31-22-5)

Puck drop: 1:00 p.m. EST | KeyBank Center | Buffalo, NY

TV: MSG-B, FS-MW | Radio: WGR 550 | Stream: NHL.TV

SB Nation’s Blues Blog: St. Louis Game Time

Three Questions

1. Can the Sabres make it three wins in a row?

Buffalo really needs to start racking up some wins, but face quite the challenge this afternoon. The Blues have six wins on the trot and are 7-1-0 since they fired Ken Hitchcock and Mike Yeo took over. To make things worse, the Sabres are winless in nine games against the visitors, going back to December 2009. Gulp.

2. Will Kane and Kulikov play?

Both players had maintenance days yesterday, but are expected to line up for the matinee game. Kane has been otherworldly 5-on-5 in the last couple of months. Sabres fans will be hoping for some signs of life from the Russian defenseman if they are to get anything better than the proverbial bag of pucks at the trade deadline for him.

3. Is Rodrigues the third-line center of the future?

Eichel’s BU teammate Rodrigues has looked very good since his recent call up, picking up two assists in that stretch as well as some very responsible play. He had a career-high 15:47 minutes of ice time on Thursday against Colorado. He’ll face probably the toughest ask of his young career today going up against an elite top six. Foligno’s physicality and Gionta’s leadership will be helpful.

Projected Buffalo Lines

56 Justin Bailey -- 90 Ryan O'Reilly -- 21 Kyle Okposo

9 Evander Kane -- 15 Jack Eichel -- 23 Sam Reinhart

82 Marcus Foligno -- 71 Evan Rodrigues -- 12 Brian Gionta

26 Matt Moulson -- 44 Nicolas Deslauriers -- 63 Tyler Ennis

29 Jake McCabe -- 55 Rasmus Ristolainen

77 Dmitry Kulikov -- 47 Zach Bogosian

4 Josh Gorges -- 6 Cody Franson

Goal: 40 Robin Lehner