Buffalo Sabres vs Pittsburgh Penguins 3/24/21 Game Preview

Expected Lines:


Buffalo Sabres


Olofsson-Lazar-Reinhart
Hall-Staal-Cozens
Rieder-Eakin-Okposo
Skinner-Mittelstadt-Sheahan

Dahlin – Jokiharju
Bryson – Ristolainen
Miller – Montour

Tokarski (Probable, but Unconfirmed)

Pittsburgh Penguins

Guentzel – Crosby – Rust
Aston-Reese – McCann – Kapanen
Rodrigues – Jankowski – Lafferty
Sceviour – Gaudreau – Angello

Dumoulin – Letang
Matheson – Ceci

Jarry

Tale of the Tape

Record: Buffalo (6-20-4; 8th division/31st league) vs. Pittsburgh Penguins (19-11-2; 3rd division/11th league)

5v5 Goals For %: Buffalo (34.8%; 31st) vs. Pittsburgh Penguins (53.39%; 10th)

5v5 xGoals For %: Buffalo (47.3%; 23rd) vs. Pittsburgh Penguins (49.2%; 20th)

Point Leaders: Reinhart (20) vs. Crosby (32)

News and Notes:

⦁ The Sabres will look to put an end to their disastrous 14-game losing streak, and give interim coach Don Granato his first win as coach Wednesday evening. Buffalo is 0-2-0 so far under Granato. Hopefully the luck turns around soon, as they’re inching dangerously close to tying the NHL all time losing streak record, set at 18 games by the 03/04 Penguins.

⦁ It was announced Tuesday evening that Buffalo has called up goaltender Ukko Pekka Luukkonen to the Sabres taxi squad. Goaltender Carter Hutton left Monday’s game early in the First Period with a lower body injury, and backup Dustin Tokarski finished the game.

⦁ Sabres goaltender Linus Ullmark practiced with the team Tuesday in Pittsburgh, the first ice time he’s seen in roughly a month as he recovers from injury. Coach Granato mentioned in yesterday’s media availability that Ullmark was not close to playing, as of yet.

Player to watch: Dylan Cozens

Cozens picked up right where he left off retuning from his first injury in the NHL against the Rangers this week. The rookie remains a bright spot with his play despite being winless in the last 14.

Interim HC Granato on Cozens this morning: “He’s a talented hockey player who can player any position. He’s intelligent; he’s a player that soaks in every experience. There are some players who don’t. Dylan processes everything really fast. Combine that with his skill, character… he’s a really great prospect to have.”

Prediction:

The Sabres sure could use ANY form of luck to work in their direction, as it has been a calendar month since their last victory. They’ll have to come out flying versus a Penguins team that currently sits 6 points outside of first place in the East Division, and is 7-2-1 in their last ten games.

If Buffalo has any shot at pulling out the victory this evening, they’ll need a lights-out performance from goaltender Dustin Tokarski. Tokarski looked solid in his first game action since 2016 on Monday night, and the Sabres will be looking for more of that Wednesday evening versus the Penguins.

Final Score: PIT 5, BUF 2.

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