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Sabres Look To Rebound Against Blue Jackets

After a gut wrenching loss the night prior, Buffalo returns home hoping to bounce back.

NHL: SEP 28 Preseason - Sabres at Blue Jackets

Game 18

Buffalo Sabres (7-8-2) vs. Columbus Blue Jackets (9-6-0)

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

TV: MSG

Radio: WGR 550

SB Nation Blue Jackets Blog: The Cannon

Know Your Opponent

Columbus Blue Jackets

Record: 9-6-0 | 18 PTS

Division Ranking: 6th in the Metropolitan Division

PP: 14th (20.4%)

PK: 10th (84.4%)

What to Watch

Sabres Response to Sunday Night’s Heartbreaker

The Sabres battled hard last game against the Rangers but fell short again, 0.7 seconds to be exact, from at least picking up a point. A loss in that fashion should theoretically motivate them to bounce back the next night; however, Buffalo hasn’t won on the second night of a back-to-back yet this season. One sign of hope however, will be the goaltending matchup against the Jackets. While the Sabres are expected to start Tokarski tonight after giving him a rest last night against the Rangers, Columbus is also expected to start Joonas Korpisalo. Korpisalo has been the shakier of the two Blue Jackets goalies, posting a record of 2-3-0 with a 0.897 save percentage and a 3.56 GAA. If Buffalo can continue the offensive pressure they had against the Rangers the night prior, they should be able to light the lamp multiple times.

Time to Buckle Down

This game feels important, given the Sabres loaded schedule this week and how they will need to perform down that stretch. With a win tonight, they can take some of the bad taste out of their mouth from the Rangers game, and won’t start the busy week off 0-2. With a loss, they then have to play a tough Bruins team on Wednesday under even more pressure, which could be a recipe for disaster. Buffalo needs to take advantage of more favorable matchups when they have the chance, or risk falling even further in the standings.

A Healthier Team

Victor Olofsson was surprisingly able to return to the lineup against the Rangers, and contributed with an assist. Olofsson is a valuable asset to the Sabres roster, especially on the power play. With him in the lineup, other teams have to respect his terrific shot, potentially also leaving other scoring lanes open while cheating over to his side. With a PPG last game, and Olofsson back in the lineup, look for the Sabres to continue to improve on the power play tonight against the Jackets.

Projected Lineups

Buffalo Sabres

Forwards

Rasmus Asplund - Zemgus Girgensons - Kyle Okposo

Jeff Skinner - Tage Thompson - Victor Olofsson

Anders Bjork - Cody Eakin - John Hayden

Drake Caggiula - Dylan Cozens - Vinnie Hinostroza

Defense

Rasmus Dahlin - Mark Pysyk

Jacob Bryson - Colin Miller

Robert Hagg - Will Butcher

Starting Goaltender: Dustin Tokarski (expected)

Columbus Blue Jackets

Forwards

Gustav Nyquist - Boone Jenner - Oliver Bjorkstrand

Yegor Chinakhov - Cole Sillinger - Jakub Voracek

Gregory Hofmann - Jack Roslovic - Max Domi

Eric Robinson - Sean Kuraly - Alexandre Texier

Defense

Zach Werenski - Jake Bean

Vladislav Gavrikov - Andrew Peeke

Gavin Bayreuther - Adam Boqvist

Starting Goaltender: Joonas Korpisalo (expected)