Sabres Look To Make It Four Straight, Host Blue Jackets

Columbus comes to town for an ESPN+ exclusive game.

Game 59

Buffalo Sabres (31-23-4) vs. Columbus Blue Jackets (19-35-6)

Puck Drop: 7:30 PM EST | KeyBank Center | Buffalo NY

TV: ESPN+, Hulu

Radio: WGR 550

SB Nation Blue Jackets Blog: Jackets Cannon

Know Your Opponent

Columbus Blue Jackets

Record: 19-35-6

Last Game: 3-2 OT loss to Minnesota

Division Ranking: 8th in Metropolitan Division

PP: 16.3% (30th)

PK: 77.1% (20th)

What to Watch For

1. Don’t Take Them Lightly

The Sabres come into Tuesday’s game on the heels of three consecutive wins, all of which came against some very tough teams in Tampa, Florida and Washington. Tonight’s opponent is in a very different position: 32nd in the NHL. The Blue Jackets aren’t even sniffing a playoff spot, but - BUT - the Sabres still should not take them lightly. This is a game Buffalo absolutely should win, but it’s when you let your guard down that you risk giving up an ‘easy’ win.

Following tonight’s game, it’s right back to a very challenging schedule for the Sabres. Thursday’s opponent, the Bruins, are first in the league. Saturday’s opponent, Tampa, is fifth. Regardless of who you’re facing, come into the game strong and keep the momentum going.

2. Roster Updates (or Lack Thereof)

Rasmus Dahlin didn’t take the morning skate, so it’s anticipated that he’ll be out again. Craig Anderson is expected to be the starting goaltender for Tuesday’s game.

The other update: Riley Stillman, the defenseman Buffalo acquired Monday via trade, will not play Tuesday night. It’ll take a little bit for him to join the team due to immigration paperwork, but graciously, that also means the Sabres don’t need to make any moves to get under the contract limit for now. Otherwise, once Stillman does come over, the Sabres may need to execute a paper move (such as sending UPL down) or otherwise shift some contracts. (Of course, this also depends on what, if any, deals they make before Friday’s 3 p.m. deadline).

3. The Leaders

On the Buffalo side, of course, Tage Thompson leads the team with 40 goals and 79 points. Dahlin and Tuch are out, but Jeff Skinner (59 points) and Dylan Cozens (52 points) are other key players for the Sabres’ offense.

For the Blue Jackets, well, things aren’t as bright. Johnny Gaudreau leads the team with 39 assists and 54 points on the season, while Patrik Laine has 38 points. Boone Jenner’s 18 goals lead the team, and only six Columbus skaters have eclipsed the 20-point mark.

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

Kale Clague - Mattias Samuelsson

Jacob Bryson - Ilya Lyubushkin

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

Injuries: Alex Tuch, Rasmus Dahlin (DTD)

Columbus Blue Jackets


Johnny Gaudreau - Boone Jenner - Kirill Marchenko

Kent Johnson - Jack Roslovic - Patrik Laine

Eric Robinson - Sean Kuraly - Mathieu Olivier

Liam Foudy - Cole Sillinger - Emil Bemstrom


Erik Gudbranson - Tim Berni

Nick Blankenburg - Andrew Peeke

Adam Boqvist - Gavin Bayreuther

Goaltenders: Joonas Korpisalo, Elvis Merzlikins (expected starter)

Injuries: Jake Bean, Justin Danforth, Zach Werenski, Jakub Voracek, Gustav Nyquist,