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Preview: Sabres still looking to snap embarrassing losing streak after six straight

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Will the torture continue at the Coliseum?

NHL: Buffalo Sabres at New York Islanders Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

Game 23

Buffalo Sabres (6-13-3) vs. New York Islanders (14-6-4)

Puck Drop: 12:00 PM | Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum | Uniondale, NY

TV: NBC

Radio: WGR 550

SB Nation Islanders Blog: Lighthouse Hockey

Know Your Opponent

New York Islanders

Record: 14-6-4 | 32 PTS

Last 10: 7-2-1

Division Ranking: 1st in East Division

PP: 13th (23.4%)

PK: 8th (82.8%)

What to Watch

1. Sitting Dead Last Yet Again

It is not a secret that the team’s morale is down and their embarrassment is up. Aside from the fact that Buffalo has lost six(!) in a row during perhaps a worse season than their “tank” season, shots on goal are simply not making it to the net these past few games. In their first game against the Islanders this week, they managed a mere 18 shots. During their last period in the game before that? Just five shots. It goes without saying, but here we are: you have to shoot to score. Saturday’s game produced 22 shots, which was a slight improvement, but New York netted five goals on 29 shots. Buffalo now sits dead last in the entire NHL and have yet to beat the Islanders this season. They need to figure this out.

2. No Accountability

While Head Coach Ralph Krueger has not been shy about benching the few talented players left standing on the team, he has been very adamant about keeping Kyle Okposo not only in the lineup but with more ice time than some of his quicker teammates who would likely produce more. Seriously, does Okposo have cement in his skates? It is so hard to watch him. Krueger seems to want to hold players like Jeff Skinner accountable, but not Okposo, another forward who is making one of the top salaries on the team. Krueger’s most recent healthy scratch was Henri Jokiharju yesterday. And, while the defenseman has definitely been struggling this year, the whole team has. If the Sabres have not stolen your spirit and crushed your soul by now, they never will.

3. Ralph’s Last Stand?

As the Sabres round out their three-game run against the Islanders after a pair of cringe-worthy games, fans are likely wondering if this will be Krueger’s last game as a Sabres head coach. Place your bets because the end is near and it is not likely he will be missed.

Projected Lineups

Buffalo Sabres

Forwards

Taylor Hall - Jack Eichel - Dylan Cozens

Victor Olofsson - Eric Staal - Sam Reinhart

Tobias Rieder - Cody Eakin - Kyle Okposo

Jeff Skinner - Curtis Lazar - Riley Sheahan

Defense

Rasmus Dahlin - Rasmus Ristolainen

Henri Jokiharju - Colin Miller

Jacob Bryson - Brandon Montour

Starting Goaltender: Jonas Johansson (expected)

New York Islanders

Forwards

Anders Lee - Mathew Barzal - Jordan Eberle

Anthony Beauvillier - Brock Nelson - Josh Bailey

Michael Dal Colle - Jean-Gabriel Pageau - Oliver Wahlstrom

Matt Martin - Casey Cizikas - Cal Clutterbuck

Defense

Adam Pelech - Ryan Pulock

Nick Leddy - Scott Mayfield

Andy Greene - Noah Dobson

Starting Goaltender: Ilya Sorokin (unconfirmed)