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Preview: Sabres in for another tough test tonight against the Ducks

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In the second half of a back-to-back, the Sabres will try to bounce back after a tough loss last night against Washington.

Buffalo Sabres v Anaheim Ducks Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Game 37

Buffalo Sabres (20-11-5) vs Anaheim Ducks (19-13-5)

Season Series:

10/21 - Sabres 4, Ducks 2 (complete coverage)

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

TV: MSG-B

Radio: WGR 550

SB Nation Ducks blog: Anaheim Calling

Know Your Opponent

Anaheim Ducks

Record: (19-13-5) | 43 points

Last 10: 7-3-0

Division Ranking: 3rd in the Pacific Division

Conference Ranking: 6th in the Western Conference

PP: 25th (14.7%)

PK: 16th (79.5%)

What to watch for

1. Ducks Rejuvenated

In the last meeting between these two teams, the Ducks entered the contest with a record of 5-2-1. Their loss to the Sabres on home ice would be the second of five losses in six games for a team that appeared to be collapsing early-on. Despite dropping their last two decisions, Anaheim had won nine of their previous 10 games prior. As they jockey for position in a tight Western Conference, they’ll be eager to leave Western New York with two points.

2. Broken Wings

The Ducks have managed to remain competitive despite injuries to several key contributors. Corey Perry, Cam Fowler, Rickard Rakell, Ryan Miller and Kevin Bieksa all remain sidelined with various ailments. We’ll see how their depth holds up as they close out their Eastern Conference road-trip tonight ahead of a much-need holiday break.

3. Gibson a Vezina Candidate (Thus Far)

Goaltender John Gibson will likely get the nod in net tonight. Surely Sabres fans would have liked to see former-Sabre Chad Johnson between the pipes against his old team, but since Gibson already got a rest on 12/18, he’ll be the guy. With a save-percentage of .926 and 15 wins on the season, he’s fifth in the NHL in both categories (among goalies with at least 15 starts). After facing a red-hot Braden Holtby last night, the Sabres will need to find a way to solve another one of the league’s top netminders.

Buffalo Sabres

Forwards

Jeff Skinner - Jack Eichel - Sam Reinhart

Conor Sheary - Vladimir Sobotka - Evan Rodrigues

Zemgus Girgensons - Casey Mittelstadt - Kyle Okposo

Remi Elie - Johan Larsson - Tage Thompson

Defense

Rasmus Dahlin - Zach Bogosian

Lawrence Pilut - Rasmus Ristolainen

Marco Scandella - Jake McCabe

Starting Goaltender: Linus Ullmark (unconfirmed)

Anaheim Ducks

Forwards

Pontus Aberg - Ryan Getzlaf - Ondrej Kase

Andrew Cogliano - Ryan Kesler - Jakob Silfverberg

Nick Ritchie - Adam Henrique - Daniel Sprong

Kiefer Sherwood - Carter Rowney - Brian Gibbons

Defense

Hampus Lindholm - Brandon Montour

Jacob Larsson - Josh Manson

Josh Mahura - Jake Dotchin

Starting Goaltender: John Gibson (unconfirmed)