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Preview: Devils host playoff-hungry Sabres

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First of three-game road trip begins tonight

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Game 58

Buffalo Sabres (28-22-7) vs. New Jersey Devils (22-28-8)

Puck Drop: 6:00 PM | Prudential Center | Newark, NJ

TV: MSG-B, MSG+

Radio: WGR 550

SB Nation Devils Blog: All About the Jersey

Know Your Opponent

New Jersey Devils

Record: (22-28-8) | 52 points

Last 10: 4-5-1

Division Ranking: 8th in the Metropolitan Division

Conference Ranking: 15th in the Eastern Conference

PP: 17th (19.1%)

PK: 4th (83.9 %)

What to Watch

1. Soft Sabres looking to regroup

Arguably the most disheartening game of the season - Friday’s 6-2 loss against the New York Rangers - left little to be desired by Sabres fans and was not exactly the best way to conclude a home stretch of games. Reality has hit and the reality is this: Buffalo has not won two games in a row since the middle of December. Like the Devils, they are 4-5-1 in their last 10 and the end of the regular season is not that distant. Buffalo is still looking to make a successful playoff push and turn things around. Time is ticking and patience in fans is running thin.

2. Injury update

Kyle Okposo and Casey Mittelstadt are among the list - albeit small - of newly injured Sabres. Mittelstadt has been day-to-day with a lower body injury and is a question mark for tonight’s game. And, though he was originally believed to have a concussion, it has been confirmed that Okposo is on the road with his team and that his unspecified injury has not been disclosed to the public. Okposo left Friday’s game after fighting with Anthony DeAngelo.

3. Devils coming off of “big” win

Though they sit dead last in their division, the Devils are hosting the Sabres after a surprise victory against the Minnesota Wild on Friday and they will be looking to keep the momentum going in tonight’s match-up. Friday’s game was the first regular season victory for Cory Schneider in almost 14 months as he and his teammates bounced back from a three-goal deficit to win in overtime.

Buffalo Sabres

Forwards

Jeff Skinner - Jack Eichel - Jason Pominville

Evan Rodrigues - Casey Mittelstadt - Sam Reinhart

C.J. Smith - Vladimir Sobotka - Tage Thompson

Conor Sheary - Johan Larsson - Zemgus Girgensons

Defense

Lawrence Pilut - Rasmus Ristolainen

Rasmus Dahlin - Jake McCabe

Nathan Beaulieu - Matt Hunwick

Starting Goaltender: Linus Ullmark (expected)

New Jersey Devils

Forwards

Marcus Johansson - Travis Zajac - Kyle Palmieri

Miles Wood - Nico Hischier - Jesper Bratt

Kenny Agostino - Pavel Zacha - Joey Anderson

Brett Seney - Kevin Rooney - Drew Stafford

Defense

Andy Greene - Damon Severson

Will Butcher - Ben Lovejoy

Mirco Mueller - Steven Santini

Starting Goaltender: Cory Schneider (expected)