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Sabres last game of homestand against slumping Penguins

Buffalo will be looking to close out four-game KeyBank Center run with another big win

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Detroit Red Wings v Buffalo Sabres
Tage Thompson celebrating his hat trick goal
Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images

Game 10

Buffalo Sabres (4-2-0) vs. Pittsburgh Penguins (4-4-2)

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

TV: MSG

Radio: WGR 550

SB Nation Pens Blog: Pensburgh

Know Your Opponent

Pittsburgh Penguins

Record: (4-4-2)

Last Game: 6-5 OT loss vs Bruins

Division Ranking: 7th in Metropolitan Division

PP: 22.9% (14th)

PK: 71% (28th)

What to Watch For

1. Offensive Explosion

It had been coming for some time for Tage Thompson. Last season’s Sabres leading goalscorer was doing all the right things, putting in all the hard work but things weren’t just clicking for him. On Monday night though, the sight of the Red Wings’ road whites did the trick for the lanky forward just two days after having scored a game-tying third period brace against the Blackhawks - 12, 14 and 14 shot attempts in the last three games tell their own story.

What’s incredible though is that it’s not just Thompson that’s scoring - Rasmus Dahlin has regained his scoring touch again, matching Tage’s 12 points. Alex Tuch quietly has nine points, Jeff Skinner just behind him on eight and the Sabres are second in the league in goals scored per game.

2. Slumping Pens

The Penguins tend to be perennial contenders, but are struggling miserable right now. They went on the same road trip out West that Buffalo just came back from, and picked up four straight losses, begin beaten handily 6-3, 4-1, 5-1 and 3-1, before coming home and letting a three-goal lead slip to the Boston Bruins last night in a 6-5 overtime loss.

Pittsburgh’s (not very) special teams has been a big part of their issues in this five-game lsoing streak, with the power play unit going only 3/20, while the penalty kill has given up five goals in 15 shorthanded attempts. The Sabres should be the less tired team tonight and if recent results are anything to go by, they should come out comfortable winners too.

Projected Lineups

Buffalo Sabres

Forwards

Jeff Skinner - Tage Thompson - Kyle Okposo

Jack Quinn - Casey Mittelstadt - Victor Olofsson

JJ Peterka - Dylan Cozens - Alex Tuch

Zemgus Girgensons - Peyton Krebs - Rasmus Asplund

Defense

Jacob Bryson - Rasmus Dahlin

Owen Power - Kale Clague

Lawrence Pilut - Casey Fitzgerald

Goaltenders: Craig Anderson, Eric Comrie (projected starter)

Scratches: Vinnie Hinostroza

Injuries: Riley Sheahan, Henri Jokiharju, Mattias Samuelsson, Ilya Lyubushkin

Pittsburgh Penguins

Forwards

Jake Guentzel - Sidney Crosby - Bryan Rust

Jason Zucker - Evgeni Malkin - Richard Rakell

Danton Heinen - Drew O’Connor - Kasperi Kapanen

Brock McGinn - Ryan Poehling - Josh Archibald

Defense

Brian Dumoulin - Jeff Petry

Marcus Pettersson - Jan Rutta

Pierre-Oliver Joseph - Chad Ruhwedel

Goaltenders: Casey DeSmith (projected starter)

Scratches:

Injuries: