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Buffalo Sabres at Tampa Bay Lightning Preview and Game Day Thread

Nick Paul is questionable for the game

NHL: APR 10 Sabres at Lightning Photo by Andrew Bershaw/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Buffalo Sabres at Tampa Bay Lightning: GAME# 12

Time: 7:00 pm Eastern Time

Location: Amalie Arena

Broadcast/Streaming: BSSUNX, MSG-B

Opponent SBNation Site: Die By The Blade

DraftKings Line: Lightning -1.5 O/U 6.5


The Tampa Bay Lightning’s winning streak ended after a shootout loss to the Carolina Hurricanes, but their point streak still continues. Tonight the Lightning will look to rebound in a game against the Buffalo Sabres.

A good sign for the Bolts is that after missing two previous games, Victor Hedman might be ready to return to the lineup. Yesterday he appeared on morning practice alongside with Erik Cernak. That doesn’t, however, mean that the Lightning will be in an optimal lineup against the Sabres, as Nick Paul, who barely played in the second half of the game against the Hurricanes, left the yesterday’s practice early. In his absence, Vlad Namestnikov moved to his spot at second line and the team continued practicing with 11 forwards. If the Paul isn’t available tonight, the Lightning will likely run a 11/7 lineup.

The return of Hedman should take off some workload from Mikhail Sergachev’s shoulders. During the absence of the Big Swede, Sergachev played more than 25 minutes per game, including over 29 minutes in the previous game against Carolina. The Russian defenseman, who signed a huge contract last summer, has already experienced an increased role on this team and it’s not only indicated by his higher ice time, but also by his stats. Sergachev currently has 10 points in 11 games, which is tied for the fourth most amongst all defensemen in the NHL.

The Buffalo Sabres enter the tonight’s game as one of the NHL leaders. It’s not a new thing for Buffalo, as that team tend to start the season strong and fall apart in the second half, failing to make the playoffs. We will see how the things turn out for them this time, but there’s a chance that this season is different for them. Statistically speaking, they’re comfortably above the water in both CF% and xGF%, their power play and goaltending are solid and only the penalty kill seems to be struggling a little bit.

Rasmus Dahlin took a big step forward this season and now leads the team with 15 points in 11 games. Tage Thompson is showing that his previous 38-goal season wasn’t just a deviation, but maybe his real level of talent. He currently has 14 points in 11 games and recorded a six-point game just one week ago. The rookies Owen Power, Jack Quinn and JJ Peterka have also been a great addition to the team this season.

Tampa Bay vs. Buffalo Comparison

Game # 12 Tampa Bay Lightning Buffalo Sabres
Game # 12 Tampa Bay Lightning Buffalo Sabres
Overall Record 6-4-1 7-4-0
Home Record 2-1-1 4-2-0
Road Record 4-3-0 3-2-0
Goals For 35 46
Goals Against 34 33
xGF 36.15 35.89
xGA 37.9 33.14
PP% 23.4% 23.4%
PK% 82.5% 77.8%

Tampa Bay Lightning

Forward Lines

Brandon Hagel - Braydon Point - Nikita Kucherov

Alex Killorn - Nick Paul (?) - Steven Stamkos

Ross Colton - Vlad Namestnikov - Cole Koepke

Pat Maroon - Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - Corey Perry

Defense Pairings

Victor Hedman - Erik Cernak

Mikhail Sergachev - Nick Perbix

Ian Cole - Cal Foote


Andrei Vasilevskiy

Brian Elliott

Buffalo Sabres

Forward Lines

Jeff Skinner - Tage Thompson - Kyle Okposo

JJ Peterka - Dylan Cozens - Alex Tuch

Jack Quinn - Casey Mittelstadt - Victor Olofsson

Zemgus Girgensons - Peyton Krebs - Rasmus Asplund

Defense Pairings

Jacob Bryson - Rasmus Dahlin

Kale Clague - Owen Power

Lawrence Pilut - Casey Fitzgerald


Craig Anderson

Eric Comrie