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Preview: Sabres look to continue strong play against Predators

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Buffalo will host Nashville on “80’s Night” as part of the team’s 50th season celebration at KeyBank Center

Nashville Predators v Buffalo Sabres Photo by Sara Schmidle/NHLI via Getty Images

Game 33

Buffalo Sabres (15-11-6) vs. Nashville Predators (14-10-5)

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

TV: MSG

Radio: WGR 550

SB Nation Predators Blog: On The Forecheck

Know Your Opponent

Nashville Predators

Record: (14-10-5) | 33 PTS

Last 10: 5-3-2

Division Ranking: 5th in Central Division

Conference Ranking: 10th in Western Conference

PP: 26th (15.4%)

PK: 27th (76.8%)

What to Watch

1. Dahlin Back in Action?

At the team’s practice yesterday, it was reported that defenseman Rasmus Dahlin was a full participant, taking part in team drills. He also skated with the top power-play unit, which is a pretty good indication that he’ll dress tonight against Nashville.

The 19-year-old has missed the Sabres’ last seven games after suffering a concussion as a result of a dirty elbow from Tampa Bay Lightning defender, Erik Cernak. With Dahlin’s expected return, it has been reported that Zach Bogosian will serve as a healthy scratch for the first time since his return from injury last month.

2. Time to Turn the Tides on Special Teams

Since their hot start to the 2019-20 campaign, the Sabres’ special teams have left a lot to be desired at both ends of the ice. The Predators rank toward the bottom of the league in terms of both power-play efficiency, and penalty-kill rate. While Buffalo has managed to scrape together some victories with improved 5-on-5 play, they need to get their special teams in order if that success is to be sustained.

3. 80’s Night at the Aud (Well, Sort of)

While the Predators franchise did not exist when the Sabres were still playing their games at War Memorial Auditorium, tonight’s game will have a bit of 80’s flare to it. The organization has dressed up the seats in shirts of various colors to represent the old seating layout at the Aud.

With the Sabres currently hanging onto the second spot in the Atlantic Division, they’ll look to keep pace against a very strong Nashville team on a night that will surely be a memorable one for those in attendance.

Projected Lineups

Buffalo Sabres

Forwards

Victor Olofsson - Jack Eichel - Sam Reinhart

Jimmy Vesey - Marcus Johansson - Rasmus Asplund

Jeff Skinner - Casey Mittelstadt - Conor Sheary

Zemgus Girgensons - Johan Larsson - Kyle Okposo

Defense

Brandon Montour - Rasmus Ristolainen

Jake McCabe - Henri Jokiharju

Rasmus Dahlin - Colin Miller

Starting Goaltender: Linus Ullmark (projected)

Nashville Predators

Forwards

Filip Forsberg - Ryan Johansen - Calle Jarnkrok

Mikael Granlund - Kyle Turris - Matt Duchene

Rocco Grimaldi - Nick Bonino - Craig Smith

Daniel Carr - Colton Sissons - Austin Watson

Defense

Roman Josi - Ryan Ellis

Mattias Ekholm - Dante Fabbro

Dan Hamhuis - Matt Irwin

Starting Goaltender: Pekka Rinne (projected)