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Sabres Skedaddle to Smashville

Can the Sabres get back to basics - and winning?

NHL: Seattle Kraken at Buffalo Sabres Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Game 41

Buffalo Sabres (20-18-2) vs. Nashville Predators (19-16-6)

Puck Drop: 8:00 PM EST | Bridgestone Arena | Nashville, TN

TV: MSG, ESPN+

Radio: WGR 550

SB Nation Predators Blog: On the Forecheck

Know Your Opponent

Nashville Predators

Record: 19-16-6

Last Game: 4-3 win over Canadiens

Division Ranking: 5th in Central Division

PP: 28th (16.7%)

PK: 15th (79.2%)

What to Watch For

1. Getting Back on Track

The Sabres are looking to get back on track Saturday night following three straight losses at home. Maybe the change of venue will be a nice change of pace for them. Expect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen in net once again, with Jack Quinn & JJ Peterka slotting back into the lineup. Peyton Krebs was assigned to the Amerks in a paper move to make the space. Zemgus Girgensons is out with a non-COVID illness.

Tonight’s game also marks the midway point of the season. Through the first 40 games, the Sabres went 20-18-2 with 42 points. Their road record is 11-7-0, while they’ve gone 9-11-2 at KeyBank Center.

2. A Busy Week

Tonight’s game kicks off a stretch of five games in eight days for the Sabres. After tonight’s tilt in Nashville, Buffalo comes home to host the Panthers for a matinee (1 p.m.) face-off on Monday. They’ll travel to Chicago for an 8:30 p.m. puck drop Tuesday before hosting the Islanders and Ducks on Thursday & Saturday.

3. Players to Watch

Just as the Sabres have their weapons in guys like Tage Thompson and Dylan Cozens, so too do the Predators. Filip Forsberg has 34 points in his last 34 games, while Roman Josi has 29 points in his last 32 games and Matt Duchene has 11 points in his last 12 days.

Rookie Juuso Parssinen has recorded 16 points, including 12 assists, in his first 27 NHL games. He’ll be on the top line alongside Forsberg and Colton Sissons tonight.

Projected Lineups

Buffalo Sabres

Forwards

Jeff Skinner - Tage Thompson - Alex Tuch

JJ Peterka - Dylan Cozens - Jack Quinn

Casey Mittelstadt - Tyson Jost - Victor Olofsson

Vinnie Hinostroza - Rasmus Asplund - Kyle Okposo

Defense

Mattias Samuelsson - Rasmus Dahlin

Owen Power - Henri Jokiharju

Jacob Bryson - Ilya Lyubushkin

Goaltenders: Craig Anderson, Eric Comrie, Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (projected starter)

Scratches: Kale Clague?, Peyton Krebs (paper move - assigned to AHL)

Injuries/Illness: Zemgus Girgensons

Nashville Predators

Forwards

Filip Forsberg - Juuso Parssinen - Colton Sissons

Cole Smith - Ryan Johansen - Matt Duchene

Nino Niederreiter - Cody Glass - Mikael Granlund

Yakov Trenin - Thomas Novak - Tanner Jeannot

Defense

Ryan McDonagh - Roman Josi

Mattias Ekholm - Alexandre Carrier

Jeremy Lauzon - Dante Fabbro

Goaltenders: Yaroslav Askarov, Juuse Saros

Injuries: Mark Borowiecki, Kevin Lankinen