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Preview: Bottom Feeders

The Sabres and Coyotes meet tonight in a game between two teams at the bottom of the standings

NHL: Buffalo Sabres at Arizona Coyotes Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Game #73

Buffalo Sabres (23-37-12) vs. Arizona Coyotes (24-37-11)

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

Season Series: 1-0 Sabres

11/2: Sabres 5, Coyotes 4 (recap)


Radio: WGR 550

SB Nation Coyotes blog: Five for Howling

What to Watch

1. Bailey’s Opportunity

Justin Bailey is getting a really good opportunity to showcase what he can do in a top-six role tonight. He’ll skate with Jack Eichel and Kyle Okposo. He’s played well in his most recent call-up and continuing that tonight will go a long way for his future in Buffalo.

2. Chad Johnson

Johnson will be back between the pipes tonight for the Sabres. Linus Ullmark will serve as the backup with Robin Lehner still out. Lehner did participate in the morning skate today.

3. Can Reinhart hit 50?

Sam Reinhart has continued his ridiculous second half of the season. He’s up to 42 points, only eight shy of 50 with 10 games remaining. His current season pace puts him at 48 points right now.

Know Your Opponent

1. Dylan Strome

The Coyotes recalled the third overall pick from the 2015 draft yesterday. Strome was the player selected by Arizona after Eichel. He’s played 18 NHL games registering one goal and one assist. We’ll see if he’s in the lineup tonight.

2. Clayton Keller

Speaking of young players, the Yotes have themselves a stud in Keller. He was the player drafted before Alex Nylander in the 2016 draft. The 19-year-old is having a great rookie season with 20 goals and 53 points in 72 games. He’s certainly in the conversation for the Calder Trophy.

3. Turning it Around

After a really bad first half of the season, the Coyotes have started to turn things around. They come into tonight 6-3-1 in their last 10 games. They have a lot of young talent on the roster in Keller, Christian Dvorak, Max Domi and Jakob Chychrun.

Projected Lineup

20 Scott Wilson - 90 Ryan O’Reilly - 23 Sam Reinhart

95 Justin Bailey - 15 Jack Eichel - 21 Kyle Okposo

17 Jordan Nolan - 71 Evan Rodrigues - 13 Nick Baptiste

67 Benoit Pouliot - 22 Johan Larsson - 29 Jason Pominville

6 Marco Scandella - 55 Rasmus Ristolainen

45 Brendan Guhle - 41 Justin Falk

82 Nathan Beaulieu - 8 Casey Nelson

Starting Goaltender: 31 Chad Johnson