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Preview: Sabres Look to Snap Losing Streak Against the Jackets

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The Sabres host the Blue Jackets looking to snap their losing streak before they head on their bye week

NHL: Columbus Blue Jackets at Buffalo Sabres Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Game #44

Buffalo Sabres (10-24-9) vs. Columbus Blue Jackets (25-16-3)

Season Series: 2-0 Blue Jackets

October 25th - Jackets 5, Sabres 1 (recap)

November 20th - Jackets 3, Sabres 2 (recap)

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

TV: MSG

Radio: WGR 550

SB Nation Blue Jackets blog: The Cannon

What to Watch

1. Ullmark makes season debut.

Reports indicate that Linus Ullmark will be between the pipes tonight for the Sabres. The 24-year-old will make his first NHL start this season and perhaps his only one of the season before he heads back to Rochester to help the Amerks in a playoff run.

2. Eichel tasked with getting another player back on track.

Well, Phil Housley keeps asking Eichel to pull more tricks out of his hat. He helped Evander Kane get off to a hot start. Then had Zemgus Girgensons scoring. Kyle Okposo had one of his better games of the season on Tuesday playing with Eichel. Now, the all-star center will have Benoit Pouliot on his wing. Pouliot has been a healthy scratch two of the last three games.

Know Your Opponent

1. Bread Man

After a slow start, Artemi Panarin is starting to find his comfort zone in Columbus. He has eight points in the last 10 games and leads the Jackets in points this season and tied for second in goals.

2. Active Defense

The Blue Jackets defense has a lot of offensive upside and from two players in particular. One is all-star defenseman Seth Jones who has seven goals and 28 points in 44 games. The other is Zach Werenski who has 11 goals and 20 points in 40 games played.

Projected Lineup

67 Benoit Pouliot - 15 Jack Eichel - 21 Kyle Okposo

9 Evander Kane - 90 Ryan O’Reilly - 29 Jason Pominville

28 Zemgus Girgensons - 71 Evan Rodrigues - 23 Sam Reinhart

20 Scott Wilson - 22 Johan Larsson - 17 Jordan Nolan

6 Marco Scandella - 55 Rasmus Ristolainen

45 Brendan Guhle - 19 Jake McCabe

82 Nathan Beaulieu - 41 Justin Falk (unconfirmed)

Starting Goaltender: 35 Linus Ullmark