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Preview: Sabres Holiday break ends tonight in St. Louis

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Sabres meet the Blues for the first time since the big trade back in July

NHL: St. Louis Blues at Buffalo Sabres Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Game 38

Buffalo Sabres (21-11-5) vs St. Louis Blues (14-6-4)

Puck Drop: 8:00 PM | Enterprise Center | St. Louis, MO

TV: MSG-B

Radio: WGR 550

SB Nation Blues blog: St. Louis Game Time

Know Your Opponent

St. Louis Blues

Record: (14-16-4) | 32 points

Last 10: 5-4-1

Division Ranking: 6th in the Central Division

Conference Ranking: 13th in the Western Conference

PP: 12th (21.7%)

PK: 10th (82.2%)

What to watch for

1. Old Friends

Tonight will be the first time the Sabres and Blues meet since the big trade back in July. Ryan O’Reilly will face his former teammates as the leading scorer on the Blues. He has 13 goals and 32 points in 34 games. However, the Blues are stuck at the bottom of the NHL standings with a variety of issues.

The other pieces of the trade, Vladimir Sobotka, Tage Thompson, and Carter Hutton will also make their returns to St. Louis tonight.

2. Score

The Sabres have had some issues putting the puck in the net recently, but that shouldn’t be a problem tonight. The Blues have allowed the sixth most goals against per game (3.32) in the NHL. Jake Allen has struggled with a .900 save percentage and Chad Johnson was waived by the Blues a few weeks ago because of his inability to stop pucks consistently.

3. Get on a roll

After tonight the Sabres have a big seven-game stretch against Eastern Conference clubs who are close to them in the standings. A win tonight will be a good start going into the games over the next few weeks that could put the Sabres in great position for the second-half playoff push.

Buffalo Sabres

Forwards (unconfirmed)

Jeff Skinner - Jack Eichel - Sam Reinhart

Conor Sheary - Vladimir Sobotka - Evan Rodrigues

Remi Elie - Casey Mittelstadt - Kyle Okposo

Zemgus Girgensons - Johan Larsson - Tage Thompson

Defense

Rasmus Dahlin - Zach Bogosian

Lawrence Pilut - Rasmus Ristolainen

Marco Scandella - Jake McCabe

Starting Goaltender: Carter Hutton (unconfirmed)

St. Louis Blues

Forwards

Jaden Schwartz - Brayden Schenn - Vladimir Tarasenko

Alex Steen - Ryan O’Reilly - David Perron

Patrick Maroon - Tyler Bozak - Robert Thomas

Jordan Nolan - Ivan Barbashev - Zach Sanford

Defense

Joel Edmundson - Colton Parayko

Jay Bouwmeester - Robert Bortuzzo

Vince Dunn - Chris Butler

Starting Goaltender: Jake Allen