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Preview: Sabres look to finish road trip strong

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Sabres head into Winnipeg on three-game losing skid

Winnipeg Jets v Buffalo Sabres Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images

Game 66

Buffalo Sabres (29-28-8) vs. Winnipeg Jets (33-28-6)

Puck Drop: 8:00 PM EST | Bell MTS Place | Winnipeg, MB

TV: MSG-B

Radio: WGR 550

SB Nation Jets Blog: Arctic Ice Hockey

Know Your Opponent

Winnipeg Jets

Record: 33-28-6 | 72 PTS

Last 10: 4-5-1

Division Ranking: 5th in Central Division

Conference Ranking: 9th in Western Conference

PP: 17th (19.7%)

PK: 26th (76.8%)

What to Watch

1. Return from Injury

Victor Olofsson is expected to be in the lineup tonight, while goaltender Linus Ullmark returned to practice on Monday. Don’t expect to see Ullmark in net just yet, but the fact that he’s back at practice and facing shots is certainly a good sign.

2. Playing a 60-Minute Game

The Sabres have struggled with putting together a full 60-minute effort as of late. We’ve seen several instances, including in the game against Arizona, where a few goals from the opponent just absolutely crush Buffalo’s efforts and put a halt to any sort of momentum.

Getting a lead, and holding onto a lead, are other areas where the Sabres need some work.

3. Playoff Hopes

The Sabres’ playoff hopes continue to diminish. According to MoneyPuck.com, Buffalo has a 0.4 percent chance of making the playoffs at this point. They’re still not officially out of it, but it’s certainly going to be an uphill battle. Getting even one win out of this road trip would be beneficial, to say the least.

Projected Lineup

Buffalo Sabres

Forwards

Victor Olofsson - Jack Eichel - Sam Reinhart

Jeff Skinner - Curtis Lazar - Wayne Simmonds

Dominik Kahun - Marcus Johansson - Jimmy Vesey

Zemgus Girgensons - Johan Larsson - Kyle Okposo

Defense

Brandon Montour - Rasmus Ristolainen

Jake McCabe - Henri Jokiharju

Rasmus Dahlin - Colin Miller

Starting Goaltender: Carter Hutton (expected)

Winnipeg Jets

Forwards

Kyle Connor - Mark Scheifele - Blake Wheeler

Nikolaj Ehlers - Cody Eakin - Patrik Laine* (Laine was injured in their last game)

Jansen Harkins - Andrew Copp - Jack Roslovic

Gabriel Bourque - Nicholas Shore - Mason Appleton

Defense

Dmitry Kulikov - Neal Pionk

Nathan Beaulieu - Dylan DeMelo

Anthony Bitetto - Tucker Poolman

Starting Goaltender: Connor Hellebuyck (projected)