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Sabres Play the Panthers in Monday Night Matchup

Buffalo Hopes to Bounce Back From L.A. Loss

Buffalo Sabres v Florida Panthers Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

Game 58

Buffalo Sabres (18-31-8) vs. Florida Panthers (37-13-5)

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

TV: MSG-B, BSFL

Radio: WGR 550

SB Nation Florida Panthers Blog: Litter Box Cats

Know Your Opponent

Florida Panthers

Record: 37-13-5

Last Game: 6-2 win over the Red Wings

Division Ranking: 2nd in the Atlantic Division

PP: 14th (21.67%)

PK: 17th (79.53%)

What to Watch

1. Can the Sabres Beat the Best?

The Florida Panthers are one of the top teams in the NHL right now. With 37 wins and only 13 losses this season, Florida sits just below Tampa Bay and is a definite playoff favorite. The Panthers beat Buffalo 7-4 the last time the Sabres faced them on Dec. 2nd. Buffalo has shown some toughness against high ranking opponents at times this year, winning against the Minnesota Wild twice, and crushing the Leafs in Toronto just one week ago. Fans would like to see the Sabres play as well tonight as they did in their two previous games, before the Kings shut them out in yesterday’s Sunday afternoon stinker.

2. Is Tuch Shooting Pucks?

Buffalo Sabres winger Alex Tuch collided into the L.A. Kings’ net late in the 3rd period yesterday. Tuch skated off the ice and didn’t return. There are reports that the Sabres player wasn’t seriously injured, and coach Don Granato thought he might just be sore this morning. Tuch is projected to be in the lineup, according to The Morning Puck. If Tuch does skate in tonight’s game, it’ll be a lucky break for Buffalo. Alex Tuch is one of the Sabres’ best new trade acquisitions and the team could use him if he’s able to play.

3. Bookies Give Florida Slight Odds to Win

The oddsmakers at Winners and Whiners.com give the Florida Panthers a slight 1.5 point spread advantage over the Sabres in their latest matchup. This is surprising, given that Florida has been such a dominant offensive and defensive opponent. If the Sabres manage to pull off an upset and beat the spread, betting on the underdog will pay dividends for anyone who likes Buffalo’s chances.

Projected Lineups

Buffalo Sabres

Forwards

Jeff Skinner-Tage Thompson-Alex Tuch

Casey Mittelstadt-Dylan Cozens-Kyle Okposo

Rasmus Asplund-Peyton Krebs-Victor Olofsson

Vinnie Hinostroza-Cody Eakin-John Hayden

Defense

Rasmus Dahlin-Jacob Bryson

Mattias Samuelsson-Casey Fitzgerald

Robert Hagg-Mark Pysyk

Starting Goalie: Craig Anderson

Florida Panthers

Forwards

Carter Verhaege-Alexsander Barkov-Mason Marchment

Jonathan Huberdeau-Sam Bennett-Anthony Duclair

Frank Vatrano-Anton Lundell-Sam Reinhart

Noel Acciari-Eetu Luostarinen-Patric Hornqvist

Defense

MacKenzie Weegar-Aaron Ekblad

Gustav Forsling-Radko Gudas

Lucas Carlsson-Brandon Montour

Starting Goalie: Spencer Knight