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Sabres host Devils tonight

Eichel out, but Girgensons returns to lineup

⏰ 7 p.m.   ? MSG   ? WGR550

After falling to the Boston Bruins on the road Saturday, the Sabres return to KeyBank Center to host the New Jersey Devils. However, as a result of losses by the New York Islanders and Montreal Canadiens in recent nights, Buffalo currently holds one of the two Eastern Conference Wild Card spots heading into tonight’s matchup.

Season series: Tonight’s game is the first of three meetings between both teams. Last season, the Sabres won two of three against the Devils despite each team’s difference in their overall performance from a year ago.

Buffalo notes: Even with earning a recent win at home over the Florida Panthers, the team is currently on a slide that has seen them lose six of their last eight games. Jack Eichel has also missed the last two games for the Sabres, and will not play tonight. Sam Reinhart may not play due to illness, but Zemgus Girgensons is expected back in the lineup since suffering an upper-body injury on December 22. With 50 points in 42 games, the Sabres are just barely in the playoffs, hanging onto the second Wild Card spot and needing to string together some wins, starting with tonight’s game.

“The good news is I feel really good today and back to my normal self. I’m excited about the possibility of getting into another game tonight… I think we’ve just got to get back to having fun and embracing the challenge that lies ahead for us.” – Sam Reinhart

New Jersey notes: Currently on a stretch where they have won four of the last six games, the Devils will travel to Buffalo with the possibility of reigning Hart Trophy winner Taylor Hall back in the lineup. Now off the injured reserve list, the current points leader for New Jersey could make his return tonight. After making the playoffs last year, the Devils have faced struggles, having earned only 39 points in 41 games played and sit 11 points out of a playoff spot.

Starting goaltenders: After two consecutive starts from Linus Ullmark, Carter Hutton is expected to return between the pipes tonight for the Sabres. Keith Kinkaid is the likely starter for New Jersey tonight as they conclude a four-game road trip in Buffalo.

Line Combos:

Offense

Defense

Goaltenders

StartingBackup

 

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NHL Standings

TEAMGPRECPTS
Atlantic Division Leaders:
3120-5-646
3215-11-636
3015-10-535
Metropolitan Division Leaders:
3222-5-549
2920-7-242
3017-8-539
Wild Card leaders:
3119-11-139
3117-10-438
-----------------------------------------
3114-11-634
3215-13-434
2915-11-333
3015-12-333
3012-14-428
3113-17-127
309-16-523
327-22-317
TEAMGPRECPTS
Central Division Leaders:
3218-8-642
3019-8-341
3119-10-240
Pacific Division Leaders:
3318-11-440
3318-11-440
3317-12-438
Wild Card leaders:
3218-11-339
3316-12-537
-----------------------------------------
3115-12-434
2914-10-533
3114-12-533
3315-16-232
3113-14-430
3112-13-630
3212-18-226