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Sabres vs. Lightning preview: Okposo out, Deslauriers in

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The Sabres look to get a winning streak going as they host the Lightning tonight.

NHL: Tampa Bay Lightning at Buffalo Sabres Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Game #65

Buffalo Sabres (27-26-11) vs. Tampa Bay Lightning (29-26-8)

Puck drop: 7:00 p.m. EST | KeyBank Center | Buffalo, NY

TV: MSG, SUN | Radio: WGR 550

SB Nation’s Lightning Blog: Raw Charge

Three Questions

1. Whose power play will dominate tonight?

Two of the absolute best power play units in the NHL face off tonight. The Lightning have leapfrogged Buffalo for the #1 spot in the league, clicking at a 22.9% clip. The Sabres, on the other hand, have no reason to be embarrassed themselves, coming in at third in the NHL with a 22.8% conversion rate. Please, Evander Kane, tonight would be great night to NOT commit two penalties (but pls keep scoring tho k thx.)

2. Will Eichel continue his dominant streak ?

Eleven points in his last eight games. Four points in his last three against the Lightning. Sitting at .93 points per game this season, good for 14th in the NHL. And tied with that other Kane fellow for the most points in the NHL since the beginning of February. Eichel has said that his ankle is feeling better, and now we’re seeing what the 20-year old can really do.

3. Will the Sabres play like the team we saw last game, or the previous four?

If you’re still holding out hope for the playoffs, tonight is another big game as Tampa Bay sits directly in front of the Sabres with 66 points to Buffalo’s 65. We’ve seen the Sabres struggle all season long beating the teams right in front of the in the standings, but if they want the rest of their games to mean something, they’ve got to start now. The Sabres are six points out of the final wild card spot and seven points behind Boston for the third Atlantic spot, so every game counts.

Projected Buffalo Lines

63 Tyler Ennis -- 90 Ryan O'Reilly -- 56 Justin Bailey
82 Marcus Foligno -- 15 Jack Eichel -- 23 Sam Reinhart
Evander Kane -- 28 Zemgus Girgensons -- 12 Brian Gionta
26 Matt Moulson -- 71 Evan Rodrigues -- 44 Nic Deslauriers

29 Jake McCabe -- 55 Rasmus Ristolainen
77 Dmitry Kulikov -- 47 Zach Bogosian
Josh Gorges -- 6 Cody Franson

Goal: 40 Robin Lehner