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Preview: Sabres look to snap their losing streak against the Panthers

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The Sabres look to snap their six-game losing streak against the Panthers

Buffalo Sabres v Florida Panthers Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

Game 35

Buffalo Sabres (20-9-5) vs Florida Panthers (12-13-6)

Season Series: 1-0 Panthers

Puck Drop: 7:00 PM | KeyBank Center | Buffalo, NY

TV: MSG-B

Radio: WGR 550

SB Nation Panthers blog: Litter Box Cats

Know Your Opponent

Florida Panthers

Record: (12-13-6) | 30 points

Last 10: 5-4-1

Division Ranking: 8th in the Atlantic Division

Conference Ranking: 14th in the Eastern Conference

PP: 4th (27.5%)

PK: 17th (78.9%)

What to watch for

1. Panthers have the Sabres number

The Panthers have won six straight against the Sabres. The last time the Sabres defeated them was on March 27th, 2017. Buffalo held a lead in the third period in the meeting last month, but ended up falling in overtime.

2. Hidden Star

Aleksander Barkov is one of the most under-appreciated players in the entire league. He’s a solid two-way center with plenty of offensive skill. Barkov has 14 goals and 31 points in 31 games this season for the Panthers. The Finn scored the overtime winner against the Sabres back at the end of November.

3. Seize the Opportunity

The Panthers have only picked up a victory once in their last five games (overtime win over Toronto). Coming into tonight the Sabres hold a 15 point lead in the standings, but the Panthers have three games in hand. If the Sabres can pull out a victory tonight in regulation they can very likely cross off the Panthers as a team to worry about in the playoff race this season with a 17 point lead.

Buffalo Sabres

Forwards

Jeff Skinner - Jack Eichel - Sam Reinhart

Evan Rodrigues - Casey Mittelstadt - Jason Pominville

Conor Sheary - Vladimir Sobotka - Kyle Okposo

Tage Thompson - Johan Larsson - Zemgus Girgensons

Defense

Rasmus Dahlin - Zach Bogosian

Marco Scandella - Rasmus Ristolainen

Brendan Guhle - Matt Hunwick

Starting Goaltender: Carter Hutton

Florida Panthers

Forwards

Jonathan Huberdeau - Aleksander Barkov - Mike Hoffman

Frank Vatrano - Henrik Borgstrom - Evgenii Dadonov

Troy Brouwer - Jared McCann - Denis Malgin

Micheal Haley - Juho Lammikko - Jayce Hawryluk

Defense

Keith Yandle - Aaron Ekblad

Michael Matheson - Mark Pysyk

Alex Petrovic - Mackenzie Weegar

Starting Goaltender: Roberto Luongo (unconfirmed)