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Red-Hot Golden Knights Storm Into Buffalo

Vegas has won eight straight heading into Thursday night.

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Vegas Golden Knights v Toronto Maple Leafs Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images

Game 14

Buffalo Sabres (7-6-0) vs. Vegas Golden Knights (12-2-0)

Puck Drop: 7:00 PM EST | KeyBank Center

TV: None; ESPN+/Hulu only

Radio: WGR 550

SB Nation Golden Knights Blog: Knights on Ice

Know Your Opponent

Vegas Golden Knights

Record: 12-2-0 | 24 points

Last Game: 4-3 OT win over the Toronto Maple Leafs

Division Ranking: 1st in the Pacific (1st in NHL)

PP: 15th (22.7%)

PK: 19th (78.1%)

What to Watch

1. Two Different Trajectories

The Sabres and Golden Knights are on very different streaks heading in Thursday night’s game. Vegas has lost only two games this season and has won eight straight. On the flip side, the Sabres had a hot start but have now lost three straight.

Sabres fans can take solace in the fact that the Sabres’ blueline is starting to return to normalcy, with Rasmus Dahlin and Ilya Lyubushkin both returning to the lineup in their last game. Henri Jokiharju has started skating with the team, and Jeremy Davies was returned to Rochester.

2. Need A Big Game From Tage & Co.

Tage Thompson has been one of the Sabres’ best players this season. Entering Thursday night, he’s recorded 13 points in his last six games. He’s tied with Dahlin for the scoring leader on the team, as both have 16 points. Thompson’s eight goals are also tops. Alex Tuch - a former Golden Knight himself - and Jeff Skinner aren’t far behind, with 11 points each, while Victor Olofsson has a respectable 10 points in 13 games this season.

As the Sabres prepare to face a tough Vegas team that’s going to throw everything and the kitchen sink at them, they’ll need their big offensive pieces to step up. Of course, the same can be said of the defense, who will need to limit the number of shots the Golden Knights are able to throw on net. Vegas is averaging 33.2 shots per game.

2. Eichel Returns Again

Look, as much as I’d like to say that Eichel’s once-again return to Buffalo isn’t a big thing, it is a thing. He has 15 points (6-9) in 14 games this season and is Vegas’ top scorer. He’ll undoubtedly receive a hefty load of ‘boos’ thrown his way tonight, but he’s not the only former Sabre who will be in attendance.

Let’s not forget William Carrier, who has six points in 13 games this season, and Brayden McNabb, who has five assists in 14 games.

Projected Lineups

Buffalo Sabres

Forwards

JJ Peterka - Tage Thompson - Casey Mittelstadt

Jeff Skinner - Dylan Cozens - Alex Tuch

Rasmus Asplund - Peyton Krebs - Victor Olofsson

Vinnie Hinostroza - Zemgus Girgensons - Kyle Okposo

Defense

Jacob Bryson – Rasmus Dahlin

Kale Clague – Owen Power

Lawrence Pilut – Ilya Lyubushkin

Goaltenders: Eric Comrie (expected), Craig Anderson

Vegas Golden Knights

Forwards

Chandler Stephenson - Jack Eichel - Mark Stone

Jonathan Marchessault - William Karlsson - Reilly Smith

Mike Amadio - Brett Howden - Phil Kessel

William Carrier - Nicolas Roy - Keegan Kolesar

Defense

Alec Martinez - Alex Pietrangelo

Brayden McNabb - Shea Theodore

Nicolas Hague - Zach Whitecloud

Goaltenders: Logan Thompson (expected), Adin Hill