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Sabres travel to Pittsburgh seeking first win under Granato

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Buffalo will try to avoid losing their 15th consecutive game tonight against the Penguins

Pittsburgh Penguins v Buffalo Sabres Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images

Game 31

Buffalo Sabres (6-20-4) vs. Pittsburgh Penguins (19-11-2)

Puck Drop: 8:00 PM EST | PPG Paints Arena | Pittsburgh, PA

TV: NBCSN

Radio: WGR 550

SB Nation Penguins Blog: Pensburgh

Know Your Opponent

Pittsburgh Penguins

Record: (19-11-2) | 40 PTS

Division Ranking: 3rd in East Division

PP: 22nd (18.9%)

PK: 22nd (75.8%)

What to Watch

Special Teams Will Be Key

The Sabres are currently nursing a 14-game losing streak, which is tied for the longest drought in the NHL since the shootout era commenced. One of the reasons for this is the fact that their once league-leading power-play unit has become totally stagnant.

The Penguins struggles on both the power-play and penalty kill. Buffalo is no match for Pittsburgh at even-strength, but if they can win the special teams battle, they have a chance to end this embarrassing slump.

Continued Development

It’s fairly obvious that we’ve once again been deprived of meaningful games in the month of March, That said, there are still reasons to watch. For one, Dylan Cozens will make another appearance as the team’s first line center tonight. He’ll be flanked by Taylor Hall and Sam Reinhart.

Other youngsters like Casey Mittelstadt and Rasmus Asplund will appear in the bottom-six as they try to fortify their positions on next season’s roster. On defense, the coaching staff may lean on Jacob Bryson a bit more as well. He’s currently penciled in next to Rasomus Ristolainen on the de fact top defensive pairing.

Projected Lineup

Buffalo Sabres

Forwards

Taylor Hall - Dylan Cozens - Sam Reinhart

Victor Olofsson - Eric Staal - Tage Thompson

Jeff Skinner - Curtis Lazar - Casey Mittelstadt

Rasmus Asplund - Cody Eakin - Riley Sheahan

Defense

Jacob Bryson - Rasmus Ristolainen

Rasmus Dahlin - Colin Miller

Henri Jokiharju - Brandon Montour

Starting Goalie: Dustin Tokarski

Pittsburgh Penguins

Forwards

Jake Guentzel - Sidney Crosby - Bryan Rust

Zach Aston-Reese - Jared McCann - Kasperi Kapanen

Evan Rodrigues - Mark Jankowski - Sam Lafferty

Colton Sceviour - Frederick Gaudreau - Anthony Angello

Defense

Brian Dumoulin - Kris Letang

Mike Matheson - Cody Ceci

Marcus Pettersson - John Marino

Starting Goalie: Tristan Jarry