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Tampa Bay Lightning at Buffalo Sabres Preview and Game Day Thread

Who’s ready for a high-scoring game?

NHL: NOV 05 Sabres at Lightning Photo by Andrew Bershaw/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Tampa Bay Lightning at Buffalo Sabres: GAME# 21

Time: 7:00 pm Eastern Time

Location: Keybank Center

Broadcast/Streaming: BSSUNX, MSG-B

Opponent SBNation Site: Die By The Blade

DraftKings Odds: Lightning -1.5 O/U 6.5

Preview:

The Tampa Bay Lightning, who have gotten their season back on track thanks to a nice string of games at home, are back on the road in the northeast starting in Buffalo. Their flight plan will also take them to Boston and Philadelphia before they return home to host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday. The Lightning are 7-3-1 at home and 5-4-0 on the road this season, but have been playing much better of late with a record of 6-3-1 in their last 10.

As for the roster, it’s sailing ahead as usual until injuries tell us otherwise. Cole Koepke and Nick Perbix are nursing some injuries, while Anthony Cirelli is the lone long-term injury remaining who should be back in a week.

The Sabres on the other side have a promising young team developing that might be something special in the future. But for right now they are very raw and goals are aplenty for both sides. Sabres games average 7 goals combined, which is a step above the league average of around 6. The Lightning are averaging about 6.5 in their games. The most volatile team (the Canucks) are a little higher than the Sabres at 7.3 total goals per game.

All of this is to say the Sabres are still working on figuring out what defense is and in the meantime they’re winning with big, fun, margins, or losing close, high-scoring games. Hopefully it’s a fun game.

Comparison chart:

Tampa Bay Lightning Vs. Buffalo Sabres

Game # 21 Tampa Bay Lightning Buffalo Sabres
Game # 21 Tampa Bay Lightning Buffalo Sabres
Overall Record 12-7-1 9-12-0
Home Record 7-3-1 5-7-0
Road Record 5-4-0 4-5-0
Goals For 69 76
Goals Against 62 73
xGF 69.99 67.34
xGA 62.39 67.74
PP% 25.6% 25.9%
PK% 77.6% 73.1%
Stats via NHL.com and NaturalStatTrick.com

Tampa Bay Lightning Projected Lines

Forward Lines

Brandon Hagel - Brayden Point - Nikita Kucherov

Steve Stamkos - Nick Paul - Alex Killorn

Ross Colton - Vladislav Namestnikov - Corey Perry

Pat Maroon - Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - Cole Koepke

Defense Pairings

Victor Hedman - Erik Cernak

Mikhail Sergachev - Nick Perbix

Ian Cole - Zach Bogosian

Goaltenders

Brian Elliott

Andrei Vasilevskiy

With Alex Barré-Boulet re-assigned to Syracuse Monday morning it appears that Cole Koepke and Pierre Edouard Bellemare may be ready to rejoin the line-up. It’s also likely that Brian Elliott gets the call tonight with Andrei Vasilevskiy going tomorrow against Boston.

Buffalo Sabres Projected Lines

Forward Lines

Jeff Skinner - Tage Thompson - Alex Tuch

Jack Quinn - Dylan Cozens - JJ Peterka

Vinnie Hinostroza - Casey Mittelstadt - Victor Olofsson

Zemgus Girgensons - Tyson Jost - Kyle Okposo

Defense Pairings

Mattias Samuelsson - Rasmus Dahlin

Owen Power - Henri Jokiharju

Casey Fitzgerald - Ilya Lyubushkin

Goaltenders

Craig Anderson

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen