Preview: Sabres head to Long Island
Buffalo faces NY Islanders in Saturday evening tilt
Buffalo Sabres (31-37-9) vs. New York Islanders (45-26-7)
Puck Drop: 7:00 PM | Nassau Coliseum | Uniondale, NY
TV: MSG-B, MSG+
Radio: WGR 550
SB Nation Islanders Blog: Lighthouse Hockey
Know Your Opponent
New York Islanders
Last 10: 6-4-0
Division Ranking: 2nd in the Metropolitan Division
Conference Ranking: 5th in the Eastern Conference
PP: 14.7% (29th)
PK: 80.1% (18th)
What to Watch
1. Back to Back
As we head into the final stretch of the 2018-19 season, tonight’s game opens up a set of back-to-back games for the Buffalo Sabres. It’s also the final meeting of the season between the Sabres and the Islanders, with Buffalo on the cusp of winning the season series.
The Sabres are 7-7-1 in the first game of back-to-back sets so far this season, and tonight’s game will certainly be a challenge with how good the Islanders are this year.
2. Old Friends
Kyle Okposo spent much of his career in an Islanders uniform and played at Nassau Coliseum, so it’ll be a nice little homecoming for him tonight. The Islanders returned to Nassau earlier this season, splitting the schedule between their newly-renovated “old” rink and the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Tonight’s game is one of 21 home games this season that the Islanders are playing at Nassau.
On the flip side of things, the Sabres will face their old goaltender Robin Lehner, who recently had some less-than-stellar things to say about Buffalo sports media’s negativity.
3. Injuries & Illnesses
The Sabres are still missing several players head into Saturday night’s game. Rasmus Ristolainen remains out and has reportedly lost some weight due to an illness. Zach Bogosian: out. Jake McCabe: out. Evan Rodrigues: out.
With that, expect to see guys like Lawrence Pilut, Will Borgen, Victor Olofsson and Alexander Nylander in the lineup once again.
Buffalo Sabres (projected)
Victor Olofsson - Jack Eichel - Sam Reinhart
Jeff Skinner - Casey Mittelstadt - Jason Pominville
Conor Sheary - Vladimir Sobotka - Alex Nylander
Zemgus Girgensons - Johan Larsson - Kyle Okposo
Rasmus Dahlin - Will Borgen
Lawrence Pilut - Brandon Montour
Marco Scandella - Casey Nelson
Starting Goaltender: Carter Hutton (projected)
New York Islanders (projected)
Anders Lee - Matthew Barzal - Jordan Eberle
Josh Bailey - Brock Nelson - Michael Dal Colle
Anthony Beauvillier - Leo Komarov - Tom Kuhnhackl
Matt Martin - Casey Cizikas - Cal Clutterbuck
Nick Leddy - Johnny Boychuk
Adam Pelech - Ryan Pulock
Devon Toews - Scott Mayfield
Starting Goaltender: Robin Lehner (projected)