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Sabres hope to repeat history against Penguins

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Surprising win weeks ago rekindled hope

NHL: Buffalo Sabres at Pittsburgh Penguins Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Game 67

Buffalo Sabres (29-29-8) vs. Pittsburgh Penguins (38-21-6)

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

TV: MSG

Radio: WGR 550

SB Nation Penguins Blog: Pensburgh

Know Your Opponent

Pittsburgh Penguins

Record: (38-21-6) | 82 PTS

Last 10: 4-6-0

Division Ranking: 3rd in Metropolitan Division

Conference Ranking: 5th in Eastern Conference

PP: 15th (20.3%)

PK: 9th (82.1%)

What to Watch

1. A light?

When the two teams last met, just five games ago, Pittsburgh was atop the world and Buffalo was spiraling. Buffalo somehow won that game, igniting the last light of hope before snuffing it out again out west. The good news is that Pittsburgh has only taken one victory in that time. If there ever was a time where a team was ripe for the Sabres’ picking, it is now. Which can only mean one thing...

2. Wrecked

If there is one thing that is worse than the Sabres as a whole, it is their penalty kill. Dead last in the league. It’s a wreck that the team can’t afford not to fix. Yes, the playoffs are a distant dream, but the categoric failure that is the special teams is a blight on an already awful season, and it’s only getting worse. The players appear to be out of ideas, but more terrifying is the fact that the coaching staff doesn’t appear to have any idea how to fix this. With Pittsburgh’s top-10 power play, this could be the difference in the game.

3. Back on the up and up

Jack Eichel hasn’t scored in five games. The last time he potted the puck was the February 22 matchup with Pittsburgh. This isn’t a callout - any success the team has had this season can be attributed to Jack - this is just to point out that he’s on a season-high scoreless streak, and last time he laced them up against the Penguins, he scored two goals. It would be great for him to do it again, and start another scoring streak.

Projected Lineups

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

Lawrence Pilut- Rasmus Ristolainen

Jake McCabe - Henri Jokiharju

Rasmus Dahlin - Brandon Montour

Goaltender: Jonas Johansson (confirmed)

Pittsburgh Penguins

Forwards

Jason Zucker - Sidney Crosby - Conor Sheary

Patrick Marleau - Evgeni Malkin - Bryan Rust

Jared McCann - Nick Bjugstad - Patric Hornqvist

Evan Rodrigues - Teddy Blueger - Sam Lafferty

Defense:

Brian Dumoulin - Kris Letang

Marcus Pettersson - John Marino

Jack Johnson - Justin Schultz

Starting goalie: Matt Murray