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Preview: Predators looking to make Sabres prey

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Buffalo hopes to avoid another embarrassing game

NHL: Buffalo Sabres at Nashville Predators Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Game 80

Buffalo Sabres (31-38-10) vs. Nashville Predators (44-29-6)

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

TV: MSG-B, FSTN

Radio: WGR 550

SB Nation Predators Blog: On the Forecheck

Know Your Opponent

Nashville Predators

Record: 44-29-6

Last 10: 5-4-1

Division Ranking: 3rd in the Central Division

Conference Ranking: 5th in the Western Conference

PP: 30th (12.9%)

PK: 6th (82.4%)

What to Watch

  1. Buffalo failed to win a regulation game during March

March was a far cry from November as you know, Sabres fans. Could it get any worse? The answer is: no, not really. However, it is the team’s second last home game of the season. Perhaps they will show up for fans and score more than their opponent. At this rate, it would be nice to just score a goal.

2. Rookies shine among the scoring struggles

We saw the long-awaited debut of some great rookies a few games ago - one of which was forward Victor Olofsson, who earned his first NHL goal during Saturday’s game against the Islanders. He will be looking for his third point in four games tonight with linemates Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart (with whom he fits in nicely). With Rochester this season, he has racked up 27 goals and 33 assists.

What fans will also see tonight is some line shakeups. No, that is not your eyes deceiving you. Jeff Skinner was practicing on the fourth line today.

3. Another loss would mean a season high

If Buffalo loses again tonight, they will have reached their season high for losses this season - eight in a row. Can you hear the ‘fire Housley’ chant about to start again?

On the flip side: Nashville, a team that historically makes the playoffs and does quite well, is looking for the division crown as they currently sit third behind Winnipeg and St. Louis. With a win tonight, they would be tied for points with the Jets, who sit in first place. It must be nice to win games.

Buffalo Sabres

Forwards

Victor Olofsson - Jack Eichel - Sam Reinhart

Conor Sheary - Casey Mittelstadt - Alex Nylander

Scott Wilson - Johan Larsson - Jason Pominville

Jeff Skinner - Evan Rodrigues - Kyle Okposo

Defense

Rasmus Dahlin - Rasmus Ristolainen

Lawrence Pilut - Casey Nelson

Jake McCabe - Brandon Montour

Matt Hunwick - William Borgen

Starting Goaltender: Carter Hutton (projected)

Nashville Predators

Forwards

Filip Forsberg - Ryan Johansen - Viktor Arvidsson

Mikael Granlund - Kyle Turris - Colton Sissons

Calle Jarnkrok - Nick Bonino - Craig Smith

Brian Boyle - Frederick Gaudreau - Wayne Simmonds

Defense

Roman Josi - Ryan Ellis

Mattias Ekholm - P.K. Subban

Matt Irwin - Yannick Weber

Starting Goaltender: Pekka Rinne (projected)