Sabres Host Lightning in Saturday Matinee

Buffalo looks to bounce back with a clean slate against another tough team.

Game 61

Buffalo Sabres (31-25-4) vs. Tampa Bay Lightning (37-19-5)

Puck Drop: 12:30 PM | KeyBank Center | Buffalo, NY


Radio: WGR 550

SB Nation Lightning Blog: Raw Charge

Know Your Opponent

Tampa Bay Lightning

Record: 37-19-5 | 79 PTS

Last Game: OT Loss to Pittsburgh (5-4)

Last 10: 4-3-3

Division Ranking: 3rd in Atlantic Division

PP: 2nd (25.9%)

PK: 10th (81.9%)

What to Watch For

1. Home Ice Struggles

On one hand, the Sabres have not fared well at KeyBank Center this season. They’ve done better on the road - 19-9-2 compared to 12-16-2. On the other hand, today is a Kids’ Day game featuring the red & black goathead jerseys, which they seem to play better in. There’s just something about donning that jersey that fires them up and makes them work. While they’re not undefeated in the goatheads, they do have a mysterious track record of scoring 6+ goals while wearing them. Let’s see if that trend continues this afternoon.

Following today, the Sabres will don the red & black goatheads three more times this season: March 11, March 24 and April 13.

2. Another Tough Opponent

Today’s game against the Lightning is actually a rescheduled matchup from late-December, while the Sabres/Flyers game that was originally supposed to be today was played back in early January instead. (That’s why you may see Philly on some of the schedules, including the printed Sabres charity dog calendar.)

The Lightning are another tough opponent for Buffalo, sitting third in the division. The good news, perhaps, is that Tampa actually comes into Saturday’s game on a three-game  losing skid of their own. We’ve already seen that the Lightning are not invincible, considering the Sabres beat them 6-5 in overtime back on February 23. Now, it’s time for Buffalo to right the ship and capitalize.

Projected Lineups

Buffalo Sabres


Jeff Skinner - Tage Thompson - Jack Quinn

Casey Mittelstadt - Dylan Cozens - Vinnie Hinostroza

JJ Peterka - Peyton Krebs - Victor Olofsson

Zemgus Girgensons - Tyson Jost - Kyle Okposo


Owen Power - Henri Jokiharju

Mattias Samuelsson - Ilya Lyubushkin

Jacob Bryson - Kale Clague

Goaltenders: Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, Craig Anderson, Eric Comrie

*Rasmus Dahlin is still considered day-to-day with a lower-body injury. With no morning skate, we’ll see if he perhaps come back on Saturday. Alex Tuch is week-to-week.

Tampa Bay Lightning


Brandon Hagel - Brayden Point - Nikita Kucherov

Steven Stamkos - Anthony Cirelli - Alex Killorn

Ross Colton - Nick Paul - Tanner Jeannot

Patrick Maroon - Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - Corey Perry


Victor Hedman - Erik Cernak

Mikhail Sergachev - Nicklaus Perbix

Ian Cole - Darren Raddysh

Goaltenders: Andrei Vasilevskiy, Brian Elliott