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Preview: Sabres open a two-game series with the Rangers

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Sabres look two win their second straight when they host the Rangers

NHL: Buffalo Sabres at New York Rangers Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Game 7

Buffalo Sabres (2-3-1) vs. New York Rangers (1-3-1)

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

TV: MSG

Radio: WGR 550

SB Nation Rangers Blog: Blueshirt Banter

Know Your Opponent

New York Rangers

Record: (1-3-1) | 3 PTS

Division Ranking: 8th in East Division

PP: 21st (17.4%)

PK: 19th (75.0%)

1. Time to Pick Up Points

The Sabres have played well in five of their six games to start this season but have only picked up five of their first 12 points. Now, with the Rangers in town for a two-game series and the New Jersey Devils will come to town later in the week. They need to start picking up points against two clubs that are going to be down some key players.

2. Top Line Breakthrough?

Is tonight the night the Sabres’ top line finally breaks through? Jack Eichel, Taylor Hall, and Sam Reinhart have been controlling play when they're on the ice. However, they haven’t been able to put the puck in the net.

There’s too much talent there for those three to not get going. Luckily, the team has picked up some secondary scoring down the lineup, but they’ll need their top forwards to start filling the net if they want to be a playoff competitor this season.

3. Rangers without Filip Chytil

The Rangers are coming into tonight missing a key player on their team. Chytil is off to a hot start this season but will miss some time with an upper-body injury he suffered on Sunday.

The 21-year-old center was hitting his stride in his third NHL season. The Sabres have had the benefit of the doubt of playing teams with injuries over the first two weeks of the season and they’ll need to continue to take advantage of the luck in these matchups.

Projected Lineups

Buffalo Sabres

Forwards

Taylor Hall - Jack Eichel - Sam Reinhart

Victor Olofsson - Eric Staal - Dylan Cozens

Tobias Rieder - Cody Eakin - Kyle Okposo

Jeff Skinner - Curtis Lazar - Riley Sheahan

Defense

Jake McCabe - Rasmus Ristolainen

Brandon Montour - Matt Irwin*

Rasmus Dahlin - Colin Miller

*Henri Jokiharju not at morning skate

Starting Goaltender: Linus Ullmark

New York Rangers

Forwards

Chris Kreider - Mika Zibanejad - Alexis Lafreniere

Artemi Panarin - Ryan Strome - Pavel Buchnevich

Phil Di Giuseppe - ? - Kaapo Kakko

Colin Blackwell - Brett Howden - Julien Gauthier

Defense

Ryan Lindgren - Adam Fox

K’Andre Miller - Jacob Trouba

Tony DeAngelo - Brendan Smith

Starting Goaltender: Alexandar Georgiev