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Preview: Sabres are back in action against the Blue Jackets

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Sabres are back from their break when they visit the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight

NHL: Buffalo Sabres at Columbus Blue Jackets Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

Game 49

Buffalo Sabres (24-18-6) vs. Columbus Blue Jackets (28-17-3)

Puck Drop: 7:00 PM | Nationwide Arena | Columbus, OH

TV: MSG-B

Radio: WGR 550

SB Nation Blue Jackets Blog: Jackets Cannon

Know Your Opponent

Columbus Blue Jackets

Record: (28-17-3) | 59 points

Last 10: 6-4-0

Division Ranking: 3rd in the Metro Division

Conference Ranking: 6th in the Eastern Conference

PP: 27th (14.6 %)

PK: 8th (82.9 %)

What to Watch

1. Four Point Game

Tonight is a big game in the Eastern Conference playoff picture. The Jackets are five points up on the Sabres with 59 points. A loss today puts the Jackets seven points up and a win gets them within three with the same amount of games played.

2. Matchup of two top lines

Two of the best lines in the league will be on the ice tonight. We already know how dangerous the Skinner, Eichel, and Reinhart line can be. The Blue Jackets will counter with Panarin, Dubois, and Atkinson. Those three have combined for 63 goals and 144 points this season.

3. Defense change

Phil Housley confirmed this morning that Matt Hunwick and Marco Scandella will play tonight. Lawrence Pilut and Nathan Beaulieu will be scratched. We’ll see how that plays out for Housley.

Buffalo Sabres

Forwards

Jeff Skinner - Jack Eichel - Sam Reinhart

Conor Sheary - Casey Mittelstadt - Evan Rodrigues

Tage Thompson - Vladimir Sobotka - Jason Pominville

Zemgus Girgensons - Johan Larsson - Kyle Okposo

Defense

Rasmus Dahlin - Zach Bogosian

Jake McCabe - Rasmus Ristolainen

Matt Hunwick - Marco Scandella

Starting Goaltender: Carter Hutton

Columbus Blue Jackets

Forwards

Artemi Panarin - Pierre-Luc Dubois - Cam Atkinson

Nick Foligno - Markus Hannikainen - Josh Anderson

Brandon Dubinsky - Alexander Wennberg - Anthony Duclair

Oliver Bjorkstrand - Riley Nash - Lukas Sedlak

Defense

Zach Werenski - Seth Jones

Ryan Murray - Markus Nutivaara

Scott Harrington - David Savard

Starting Goaltender: Sergei Bobrovsky