Buffalo Sabres vs Pittsburgh Penguins 4/18/21 Game Preview

Expected Lines: 

Sabres

Skinner – Reinhart – Olofsson

Asplund – Mittelstadt – Thompson

Bjork – Cozens – Ruotsalainen

Rieder – Eakin – Sheahan

Bryson – Ristolainen

Dahlin – Jokiharju

Samuelsson* – Miller

Tokarski

*expected to make NHL debut. 

Penguins 

Guentzel – Crosby – Rust

McCann – Carter – Zucker 

Aston-Reese – Blueger – Rodrigues

Zohorna – Jankowski – Sceviour

Dumoulin – Letang

Pettersson – Marino

Matheson – Ceci 

DeSmith

Mattias Samuelsson NHL Debut

The Sabres announced this morning they’ve recalled 2018 2nd round pick (#32) Mattias Samuelsson from Rochester. 

Samuelsson is set to make his NHL debut after posting 4 points in the last 5 games in the AHL. Prevalent for his physical defensive game coming out of the draft, Samuelsson has been a pleasant surprise this season, unlocking an offense side to his game that wasn’t always prevalent. 

He has 11 points (3G, 8A) in 19 games with Rochester this season. 

Youth Movement 

Casey Mittelstadt seven goals and nine points in the last 10 games.

Tage Thompson has 6 goals in the last 10 games. 

Per Jourdan Labarber, the median age of the Sabres defense corps this afternoon is 23. 

Age 21: Rasmus Dahlin, Mattias Samuelsson, Henri Jokiharju

Age 23: Jacob Bryson

Age 26: Rasmus Ristolainen

Age 28: Colin Miller

Strong Start Necessary

Despite almost pulling off the comeback, the Sabres were faced with an uphill battle following a rough first period against the Penguins on Saturday. 

After the first, the shot attempts were 23-8 in favor of Pittsburgh. Dustin Tokarski will need more support early on, especially playing back-to-back games. 

Lineup Notes

  • Dustin Tokarski will start in goal; Granato says he didn’t want to throw Ukko Pekka-Luukkonen in just yet. 
  • The Sabres have sent CJ Smith from the taxi squad to Rochester. 
  • Riley Sheahan returns to the lineup and is in for Steven Fogarty. 
  • Drake Caggiula is out of quarantine and could be in the lineup on Tuesday.

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