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Sabres Look to Bounce Back Against Ducks

Buffalo hopes to stop its current skid against a tough Anaheim team.

Buffalo Sabers v Carolina Hurricanes Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images

Game 25

Buffalo Sabres (8-13-3) vs. Anaheim Ducks (13-8-5)

Puck Drop: 7:30 PM EST | KeyBank Center | Buffalo, NY

TV: ESPN+, Hulu

Radio: WGR 550

SB Nation Ducks Blog: Anaheim Calling

Know Your Opponent

Anaheim Ducks

Record: (13-8-5)

Last Game: 4-3 loss vs. Washington

Division Ranking: 3rd in the Pacific Division

PP: 3rd (27.0%)

PK: 5th (85.3%)

What to Watch

1. Avoid the Penalty Box, At All Costs

The Ducks are a dangerous team in general - their 87 goals-for are fifth-most in the NHL - but they’re especially lethal on the advantage. Anaheim’s power play has capitalized on 27 percent of its opportunities this season, which is no small feat. The unit is led by Kevin Shattenkirk and Cam Fowler, who have each tallied eight PP points this season, and Troy Terry, who has seven points on the advantage.

2. It’s UPL Time

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen will get the start in net for Buffalo on Tuesday night. Newly-acquired Malcolm Subban was injured in his first game with the Sabres, leaving UPL and Aaron Dell as the team’s goaltending tandem for the time being. The hope is that Subban (day-to-day) can return sooner rather than later; he did skate on his own this morning, which may be a good sign.

But for now, it’s UPL time. Time for the kid to find some fresh legs and get back on the ice; he hasn’t played in any game action since November 26, with the Rochester Americans’ recent slide into COVID protocol. This will be his first NHL game of the season.

3. Zegras’ Point Streak

Twenty-year-old center Trevor Zegras comes into tonight’s game on a three-game point streak for the Ducks, which is impressive in & of itself. It’s even more impressive when you realize he’s put up a whopping seven points in those three games - all assists - dating back to December 1.

He’s already well surpassed his rookie season and now has 21 points in just 24 games.

Another player to watch: the aforementioned Troy Terry, who’s averaging more than a point per game and earlier this season had a sixteen-game point streak.

Projected Lineups

Buffalo Sabres

Jeff Skinner - Tage Thompson - Victor Olofsson

Zemgus Girgensons - Casey Mittelstadt- Rasmus Asplund

Brett Murray - Dylan Cozens - Kyle Okposo

Anders Bjork - Cody Eakin - Vinnie Hinostroza

Rasmus Dahlin - Mark Pysyk

Jacob Bryson - Henri Jokiharju

Will Butcher - Colin Miller

Starting Goaltender: Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen

Anaheim Ducks

Sonny Milano — Trevor Zegras — Rickard Rakell

Vinni Lettieri — Sam Steel — Troy Terry

Derek Grant — Isac Lundestrom — Jakob Silfverberg

Nicolas Deslauriers — Sam Carrick — Buddy Robinson

Hampus Lindholm — Jamie Drysdale

Cam Fowler — Josh Manson

Simon Benoit — Kevin Shattenkirk

Starting Goaltender: Anthony Stolarz