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Sabres face tough task vs. Preds

Buffalo looking to rebound after back-to-back losses

⏰ 8 p.m.   ? MSG   ? WGR550

The Sabres (17-7-3), currently fifth in the league, will face a challenge Monday night as they take on the Nashville Predators (18-8-1) who currently sit third in the league and are favored to go deep in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. 

Season series: 

After two back-to-back losses following a 10-game streak, Buffalo is looking to leave Nashville with a victory and might have a good chance at it. Last season the two teams split their two-game series, both games being 5-4 — Jack Eichel scored the Sabres game-winning goal in overtime.

“I know it’s going to be difficult,” Sabres Head Coach Phil Housley said at practice on Sunday. “I know Nashville has a lot of injuries but they’re still a good hockey team and they have good goaltending.”

Buffalo notes: 

Conor Sheary returned to practice and might play Monday night, along with teammates Rasmus Ristolainen (did not skate at practice but expected to play) and Jake McCabe. The Sabres reported on Sunday that Marco Scandella was sent home. Jason Pominville will be out following an injury on Friday – he was hit from behind by Florida defenseman Alex Petrovic and braced his fall with his hand and arm, leaving the game early.

The Sabres are currently averaging three goals per game and scoring on 19.5 percent of their power play opportunities. Jeff Skinner leads Buffalo with 20 goals, just one away from tying first place for leading goal scorer in the league. Defensively, the Sabres are allowing 2.8 goals per game and are killing 80.2 percent of their opponents power plays.

Nashville notes: Injuries have also plagued Nashville as Filip Forsberg (who leads his team with 14 goals), Kyle Turris, Viktor Arvidsson and P.K. Subban are out Monday night. They have split their last 10 games and are averaging 3.3 goals per game and are scoring on 15 percent of their power play opportunities. Defensively, the Predators are allowing 2.4 goals per game and are killing 80.2 percent of their opponents power plays, just like the Sabres.

Starting goaltenders: 

Former Predators backup goalie Carter Hutton is expected to oppose Pekka Rinne in net. Rinne has given up 32 goals on 485 shots faced while Hutton has given up 51 goals on 615 shots faced.

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NHL Standings

TEAMGPRECPTS
Atlantic Division Leaders:
P8262-16-4128
X8249-24-9107
X8246-28-8100
Metropolitan Division Leaders:
Y8248-26-8104
X8248-27-7103
X8244-26-12100
Wild Card leaders:
X8246-29-799
X8247-31-498
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8244-30-896
8236-32-1486
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8232-36-1478
8233-39-1076
8232-40-1074
8231-41-1072
8229-47-664
TEAMGPRECPTS
Central Division Leaders:
Y8247-29-6100
X8247-30-599
X8245-28-999
Pacific Division Leaders:
Z8250-25-7107
X8246-27-9101
X8243-32-793
Wild Card leaders:
X8243-32-793
X8238-30-1490
-----------------------------------------
8239-35-886
8236-34-1284
8237-36-983
8235-36-1181
8235-37-1080
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8231-42-971