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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:
6146-11-496
6035-17-878
5936-19-476
Metropolitan Division Leaders:
5835-17-676
6033-20-773
6032-21-771
Wild Card leaders:
6032-21-771
5933-23-369
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6031-23-668
5928-24-763
6028-25-763
5826-24-860
5926-25-860
6023-29-854
6023-29-854
5922-32-549
TEAMGPRECPTS
Central Division Leaders:
5936-19-476
6134-22-573
5932-22-569
Pacific Division Leaders:
5936-16-779
6035-17-878
6132-25-468
Wild Card leaders:
5829-24-563
6027-27-660
-----------------------------------------
5924-24-1159
6025-26-959
6026-27-759
5926-28-557
6024-27-957
5824-29-553
5923-30-652