Sabres vs Blackhawks Preview: A happy send-off going into the bye week?
Buffalo will have another tough Western Conference opponent to deal with today
Buffalo Sabres (26-23-10) vs. Chicago Blackhawks (35-18-5)
Puck drop: 6:00 p.m. EST | KeyBank Center | Buffalo, NY
TV: NBCSN | Radio: WGR 550 | Stream: NHL.TV
SB Nation’s Blackhawks Blog: Second City Hockey
1. Can the Sabres make it four (gasp!) wins in a row?
Dec. 9-14, 2014. That was the last time Buffalo put together four consecutive wins. All the misery of the tank years, the Sabres have an opportunity tonight to finally start putting that behind us as we look forward to
2. Will Buffalo be able to out-possess Chicago?
The Blackhawks are good at holding the puck and creating chances in the offensive zone. The Sabres are going to have to rely on making quick and intelligent outlet passes to frustrate their visitors. Buffalo led Chicago late into the third period in the Windy City on January 5th, until the home side tied it and then won it in overtime with Buffalo-native Patrick Kane scoring the game-winner. Oh, Buffalo are also 0-8-2 against Chicago in their last ten.
3. Speaking of Kane..
Will Evander Kane continue his hot streak? As the top 5-on-5 forward in the League since December, the winger hit the twenty-goal mark yesterday and has six goals in the last six games. The Sabres are going to need their best players to continue to show up in this critical stretch.
Projected Buffalo Lines
56 Justin Bailey -- 90 Ryan O'Reilly -- 21 Kyle Okposo
9 Evander Kane -- 15 Jack Eichel -- 23 Sam Reinhart
82 Marcus Foligno -- 71 Evan Rodrigues -- 12 Brian Gionta
26 Matt Moulson -- 44 Nicolas Deslauriers -- 63 Tyler Ennis
29 Jake McCabe -- 55 Rasmus Ristolainen
77 Dmitry Kulikov -- 47 Zach Bogosian
4 Josh Gorges -- 6 Cody Franson
Goal: 31 Anders Nilsson