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Preview: Sabres host first place Canucks

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Sabres host the surprising Vancouver Canucks in an afternoon contest

NHL: Buffalo Sabres at Vancouver Canucks Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports

Game 16

Buffalo Sabres (8-6-2) vs Vancouver Canucks (10-6-1)

Puck Drop: 1:00 P.M. | KeyBank Center | Buffalo, NY

TV: MSG-B

Radio: WGR 550

SB Nation Canucks Blog: Nucks Misconduct

Know Your Opponent

Vancouver Canucks

Record: (10-6-1) | 21 PTS

Last 10: 6-3-1

Division Ranking: 1st in the Pacific Division

Conference Ranking: 2nd in the Western Conference

PP: 13th (21.1%)

PK: 17th (79.4%)

What to Watch

1. Elias Pettersson

The Canucks showcase one of the best young players in the league on their roster. The 19-year-old Swede, Elias Pettersson leads all rookies with 10 goals and 17 points in 11 games. He has a knack for having at least one highlight play a night so far this season. He has all the tools of speed, skill, and a lethal shot that has took the league by storm. The Sabres will have their hands full containing him this afternoon.

2. Banged Up Team

Although it hasn’t slowed them down as of late, the Canucks are without a few big players. Brock Boeser, Jay Beagle, Alex Edler, Sven Baertschi, and Brandon Sutter when they visit the Sabres this afternoon.

3. High-Scoring Game?

We could be in store for another high-scoring game today. The Canucks entered play on Friday as the second-highest scoring team in the league and they put eight on the Boston Bruins Thursday night.

The Sabres on the other hand rank 14th in the league in goal scoring and have recently scored 16 goals combined in the last three games (5.3 goals per game).

Buffalo Sabres

Forwards

Jeff Skinner - Jack Eichel - Jason Pominville

Conor Sheary - Casey Mittelstadt - Kyle Okposo

Vladimir Sobotka - Evan Rodrigues - Sam Reinhart

Patrik Berglund - Johan Larsson - Tage Thompson/Zemgus Girgensons

Defense

Jake McCabe - Rasmus Ristolainen

Nathan Beaulieu - Rasmus Dahlin

Marco Scandella - Zach Bogosian

Starting Goaltender: Carter Hutton

Vancouver Canucks

Forwards

Tim Schaller - Bo Horvat - Jake Virtanen

Nikolay Goldobin - Elias Pettersson - Loui Eriksson

Antoine Roussel - Markus Granlund - Tyler Motte

Darren Archibald - Adam Gaudette - Brendan Leipsic

Defense

Chris Tanev - Derrick Pouliot

Ben Hutton - Erik Gudbranson

Michael Del Zotto - Troy Stecher

Starting Goaltender: Jacob Markstrom (unconfirmed)