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Buffalo Plays Host to New York Islanders

The Sabres return home to open a quick homestand, hosting the Islanders.

NHL: Buffalo Sabres at New York Islanders Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

Game 48

Buffalo Sabres (15-24-8) vs. New York Islanders (17-19-6)

Puck Drop: 7:00 PM EST | KeyBank Center | Buffalo, NY

TV: MSG

Radio: WGR 550

SB Nation Islanders Blog: Lighthouse Hockey

Know Your Opponent

New York Islanders

Record: (17-19-6) | 40 PTS

Division Ranking: 6th in Metropolitan

PP: 21st (18.4%)

PK: 9th (82.7%)

1. Jeff Skinner, Goal Scoring King

Last time out, Jeff Skinner put up a career-high four goals against the Montreal Canadiens.

Skinner’s regular season total pushed to 20 goals, marking the eighth time in his career that he has surpassed that season goal total.

Skinner continues to thrive in Don Granato’s system, which is impressive considering how much of struggle Skinner had fitting in under former head coach Ralph Krueger.

Safe to say that the goal scoring demise of Jeff Skinner has been greatly exaggerated.

2. A Career Milestone

On Tuesday night, defenseman Mark Pysyk will dress for and play in his 500th career National Hockey League game.

Pysyk was a healthy scratch for the Sabres last game against the Montreal Canadiens and while no evidence supports this thought process, it appears that Pysyk was held out simply so he could play his 500th game in front of the Sabres faithful.

Either way, Pysyk has played 499 games as of this preview - 292 with the Florida Panthers, 171 with the Buffalo Sabres (in two stints) and 36 with the Dallas Stars.

3. Hanging On For Dear Life

While the Buffalo Sabres expectations for a playoff berth heading into this season might have been considered a pipe dream, expectations for a playoff berth were very high for the New York Islanders.

Heading into the 2021-22 NHL season, the Islanders had made three straight postseason appearances.

While trying to remain as optimistic as possible on behalf of Islanders fans, things do not look to promising for this season.

Four teams in the Metropolitan Division already have 60+ points each. With three of those teams being locked into a playoff berth, that pushes the fourth team into the first of two Eastern Conference wild card berths.

New York has 40 points in 42 games heading into tonight’s matchup with the Sabres. The Islanders find themselves chasing down the Boston Bruins, who have 57 points in 46 games.

Projected Lineups

Buffalo Sabres

Forwards

Jeff Skinner - Tage Thompson - Alex Tuch

Peyton Krebs - Dylan Cozens - Victor Olofsson

Rasmus Asplund - Cody Eakin - Kyle Okposo

Anders Bjork - Mark Jankowski - John Hayden

Defense

Rasmus Dahlin - Henri Jokiharju

Mattias Samuelsson - Casey Fitzgerald

Jacob Bryson - Mark Pysyk

Starter: Craig Anderson

New York Islanders

Forwards

Anders Lee - Mathew Barzal - Cal Clutterbuck

Anthony Beauvillier - Brock Nelson - Josh Bailey

Zach Parise - Jean-Gabriel Pageau - Oliver Wahlstrom

Matt Martin - Casey Cizikas - Kyle Palmieri

Defense

Adam Pelech - Scott Mayfield

Zdeno Chara - Noah Dobson

Sebastian Aho - Ryan Pulock

Starter: Ilya Sorokin