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Sabres Visit Windy City for First Time Since 2019

Buffalo & Chicago, with similar records, square off Monday night.

Buffalo Sabres v New York Rangers Photo by Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images

Game 67

Buffalo Sabres (23-33-10) vs. Chicago Blackhawks (24-32-10)

Puck Drop: 8:30 PM | United Center | Chicago, IL

TV: MSG

Radio: WGR 550

SB Nation Chicago Blackhawks Blog: Second City Hockey

Know Your Opponent

Chicago Blackhawks

Record: 24-32-10

Last Game: 5-4 OT loss to Vegas (Saturday)

Division Ranking: 7th in the Central Division

PP: 17th (20.5%)

PK: 22nd (76.3%)

What to Watch

1. Different Teams, Similar Records

As you can see from their records, the Sabres and Blackhawks have fared pretty similarly this season. Chicago has just one more regulation win, and in the Western Conference, their 58 points sit them at 14th, ahead of only Seattle and Arizona. Buffalo has a slightly better seat in the Eastern Conference; with 56 points, they’re 12th.

But enough about that. Let’s look at the last five games. The Sabres are on a five-game point streak, with three wins followed by two losses (one shootout, one overtime). Buffalo’s been trending upwards over the last little bit and it’s refreshing to watch.

Over the last five games, the Blackhawks are 2-2-1. All of those games were decided by one or two goal deficits, so they’ve mostly managed to keep pace with their opponents, even when they’re losing.

2. DeBrincat Looks Good

Many will talk about Patrick Kane, but you can’t miss out on Blackhawks winger Alex DeBrincat. He leads the team with 37 goals and is likely to surpass his career high (41, reached in 2018-19). The second-most goals any player on the team has is... 21, quite a bit lower. The 24-year-old has also notched 25 assists for 62 points on season.

3. Skinner’s Four-Game Streak

Jeff Skinner will look to extend his four-game point streak in this evening’s contest. Over the last few games, he’s notched four goals and one assist, contributing to his 46 points on the season overall. While he won’t surpass his career high in points (63) pending an absolute rager of a season’s end, it’s been a good season for Skinner. Of course, it helps when you have the right coaching staff in place. (Looking at you, Ralph.)

Projected Lineups

Buffalo Sabres

Forwards

Jeff Skinner-Tage Thompson-Alex Tuch

Peyton Krebs-Dylan Cozens-Vinnie Hinostroza

Rasmus Asplund-Casey Mittelstadt-Victor Olofsson

Anders Bjork-Zemgus Girgensons-Kyle Okposo

Defense

Henri Jokiharju-Rasmus Dahlin

Mattias Samuelsson-Jacob Bryson

Colin Miller-Mark Pysyk

Starting Goalie: Dustin Tokarski (projected)

Chicago Blackhawks

Forwards

Alex DeBrincat - Dylan Strome - Patrick Kane

Dominik Kubalik - Jonathan Toews - Taylor Raddysh

Henrik Borgstrom - Kirby Dach* - Sam Lafferty

Boris Katchouk - Reese Johnson - MacKenzie Entwistle

Defense

Jake McCabe - Caleb Jones

Calvin de Haan - Seth Jones

Riley Stillman - Erik Gustafsson

Starting Goalie: Collin Delia (projected)

*Dach is questionable & was expected to miss morning skate with a non-COVID illness.