Sabres look to continue improved play as they host the Rangers
Buffalo has collected three points in their last two games after losing 18 in-a-row
Buffalo Sabres (7-23-6) vs. New York Rangers (17-15-4)
Puck Drop: 7:00 PM EST | KeyBank Center | Buffalo, NY
Radio: WGR 550
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Know Your Opponent
New York Rangers
Last 10: 6-3-1
Division Ranking: 6th in the East
PP: 25th (17.6%)
PK: 6th (84.8%)
What to Watch
1. Ullmark Down the Stretch
Tonight, Linus Ullmark is set to return to the starter’s crease after a well deserved game off. In terms of players on expiring contracts, the 27-year-old Swede is perhaps the most intriguing on the Sabres’ ledger this summer.
In his three starts since returning from injury, Ullmark has stopped 96 0f the 108 shots he’s faced for an overall save-percentage of .923. The oft-injured starter will look to continue his strong play for the rest of the season.
If he is successful, he’ll likely command a significant raise, whether it be in Buffalo or elsewhere.
2. Reinhart Back at Center
For years, the analytics community has clamored for another opportunity to see Sam Reinhart play the center position. Last week, they got their wish as a result of the Sabres losing yet another pivot in Curtis Lazar.
In three games since his move back to the middle. Reinhart has shown well, especially when you consider the fact that he’s spent most of his time being flanked by less-than-ideal linemates in Kyle Okposo and Victor Olofsson.
After a one-game return to the right side, he’ll re-assume a centerman role tonight.
3. Fans Have Returned
The Sabres have struggled pretty much everywhere this season, but their woes have been particularly bad on home ice. Last Wednesday’s 6-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers was their first win at KeyBank Center since January 30th.
Tonight will be the first night where the general public will occupy ten-percent capacity at the arena. Hopefully the blue-and-gold give them something worth watching.
Taylor Hall - Casey Mittelstadt - Tage Thompson
Victor Olofsson - Sam Reinhart - Kyle Okposo
Jeff Skinner - Riley Sheahan - Rasmus Asplund
Tobias Rieder - Cody Eakin - Steven Fogarty
Jacob Bryson - Rasmus Ristolainen
Rasmus Dahlin - Henri Jokiharju
Colin Miller - Brandon Montour
Starting Goalie: Linus Ullmark
New York Rangers
Chris Kreider - Mika Zibanejad - Pavel Buchnevich
Artemi Panarin - Ryan Strome - Kappo Kakko
Alexis Lafreniere - Filip Chytil - Julien Gauthier
Phil Di Giuseppe - Kevin Rooney - Colin Blackwell
Ryan Lindgren - Adam Fox
K’Andre Miller - Jacob Trouba
Libor Hajek - Brendan Smith
Starting Goalie: Igor Shesterkin