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The Point Streak Lives On: Can Buffalo Keep the Momentum Going?

Elite Panthers visit Buffalo after huge comeback win in Jersey

NHL: Florida Panthers at Buffalo Sabres Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Game 70

Buffalo Sabres (25-33-11) vs. Florida Panthers (47-15-6)

Puck Drop: 1:00 PM EST | KeyBank Center | Buffalo, NY

TV: MSG-B

Radio: WGR 550

SB Nation Panthers Blog: Litter Box Cats

Know Your Opponent

Florida Panthers

Record: 47-15-6 | 100 PTS

Last 10: 7-2-1

Last Game: 7-6 OT win vs. Devils

Division Ranking: 1st in Atlantic Division

PP: 10th (23.1%)

PK: 15th (80.1%)

What to Watch

1. RJ’s Last April

Friday’s celebration was magical and everything that legendary play-by-play announcer Rick Jeanneret deserved. His voice has graced our radios and televisions for over half of a century and this month marks his final one with the team. As the puck drops between the Panthers and the Sabres after Friday’s emotional ceremony (were there honestly any dry eyes out there?), it will be fun to hear him back on the mic for these last few weeks of the season and, ultimately, his career. Cheers, RJ!

2. Expect a High-Scoring Game

The last time these two teams met was just a few weeks ago and it did not work out too well for the Sabres, who lost 6-1 after the Panthers scored six straight. Prior to last game, the Sabres lost 7-4 back in December when Florida scored four in the third period. In that game, former Sabre Sam Reinhart tallied a goal and three assists and Buffalo suffered a major second-period slump with only six shots to Florida’s 21. To be clear, Buffalo’s mission should be to play a full 60 minutes every game, but especially this one as the last two matchups between these two teams were high-scoring games with a relentless Florida team as the opponent.

In more recent news, the Panthers rallied from behind yesterday against the Devils by scoring four goals in the third period. Sound familiar? If anything, it seems history repeats itself with this team and the Sabres should be anticipating that.

Buffalo is arguably a very different team than just a few months ago (9-3-3 in their last 15 and eight straight games with at least a point!), but nevertheless: shoot that puck and do not let any kind of lead give false hope until the final buzzer echoes the arena.

3. Tommer Time

During Friday’s matchup against Nashville - easily the best game fans have witnessed in many years (thank you, RJ!) - Tage Thompson scored his 30th goal of the season and continues to show no signs of slowing down. The center has 11 points in the Sabres’ last 10 games and seems to have finally found his stride. On the goal accomplishment, he stated “I think it’s a special feeling, but at the same time there is more work to be done. You never want to be satisfied...”

Tommer could easily surpass Jack Eichel’s career high of 36 goals (from the 2019-2020 season) by this season’s end and we know Buffalo would surely love nothing more.

Projected Lineups

Buffalo Sabres

Forwards

Jeff Skinner - Tage Thompson - Alex Tuch

Peyton Krebs - Dylan Cozens - Vinnie Hinostroza

Rasmus Asplund - Casey Mittelstadt - Victor Olofsson

Zemgus Girgensons - Cody Eakin - Kyle Okposo

Defense

Rasmus Dahlin - Henri Jokiharju

Mattias Samuelsson - Casey Fitzgerald

Jacob Bryson - Mark Pysyk

Starting Goaltender: Dustin Tokarski (expected)

Florida Panthers

Forwards

Carter Verhaeghe - Aleksander Barkov - Anthony Duclair

Jonathan Huberdeau - Sam Bennett - Claude Giroux

Mason Marchment - Anton Lundell - Sam Reinhart

Ryan Lomberg - Eetu Luostarinen - Maxim Mamin

Defense

Gustav Forsling - Mackenzie Weegar

Ben Chiarot - Radko Gudas

Robert Hagg - Brandon Montour

Starting Goaltender: Spencer Knight (expected)