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Game 61 Preview & Open Thread: Sabres Hope Vegas Knights’ Luck Runs Out in Buffalo

Mar 10, 2022; Buffalo, New York, USA; Buffalo Sabres center Peyton Krebs (19) celebrates his goal with teammates during the first period against the Vegas Golden Knights at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Game #61

Las Vegas Golden Knights (33-20-7) vs. Buffalo Sabres (28-28-4)

Puck Drop: 7:00 PM EST, KeyBank Center

TV: ESPN+, Hulu

Radio: WGR-550

Know Your Opponent

Vegas Golden Knights

Record: 33-20-7

Last Game: 5-4 Loss to the Boston Bruins

Division Ranking: 2nd in the Pacific Division

PP Ranking: 20th (19.29%)

PK Ranking: 12th (80.86%)

1) Knights the Slightly Better Record, Overdue for a Loss in Buffalo

Vegas has the slightly better record versus Buffalo, with six wins against the Sabres’ five. However, the Blue and Gold did win the last two matchups in Sin City. Buffalo unfortunately hasn’t defeated Vegas on home ice since March 10, 2022.

It’s past time for the hosts to show Vegas that luck should be on the Sabres’ side when they visit KeyBank Center. Fans would like to see a similar performance from two years ago, when Alex Tuch took the puck away from Jack Eichel and raced down to the Knights’ empty net to put it away. With Eichel out, the hosts may have to beat someone else on a turnover.

2) UPL Stays Solid in Net?

If the Sabres hope to win this contest, they’ll need starting goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen to have another strong performance. Buffalo won four of the last five games UPL put on the pads.

High NHL-ranking teams like Vegas seem to have a nose for any scoring opportunities their opponents leave open. With the way Luukkonen’s been playing lately, maybe he can shut them down or least limit enough of their chances to give the Sabres an opportunity to prevail.

3) Vegas Depleted With Injuries, Sabres Healthier

The Golden Knights are dealing with a number of injuries. Captain and right winger Mark Stone, centers Brett Howden, Pavel Dorofeyev and Jack Eichel, left wing William Carrier and defenseman Tobias Bjornfot are all out.

By contrast, the Sabres only have a sick Erik Johnson and an injured Jack Quinn and Mattias Samuelsson on long-term IR to worry about. Player health is a major factor in the win-loss column, so it could make a difference in this matchup.

Projected Lineups

Buffalo Sabres


Jordan Greenway – Tage Thompson – Alex Tuch

Jeff Skinner – Casey Mittelstadt – Kyle Okposo

Zach Benson – Dylan Cozens -JJ Peterka

Zemgus Girgensons – Peyton Krebs – Eric Robinson


Rasmus Dahlin – Henri Jokiharju

Owen Power – Jacob Bryson

Ryan Johnson – Connor Clifton


Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (likely starter), Eric Comrie

Las Vegas Golden Knights


Brendan Brisson – William Karlsson – Jonathan Marchessault

Ivan Barbashev – Chandler Stephenson – Michael Amadio

Paul Cotter – Nicolas Roy – Keegan Kolesar

Mason Morelli – Byron Froese – Sheldon Rempal


Alec Martinez – Alex Pietrangelo

Brayden McNabb – Shea Theodore

Nicolas Hague – Zach Whitecloud


Adin Hill (likely starter), Logan Thompson

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