By: DAVID KOLB
PITTSBURGH PENGUINS (11-4-2) @ BUFFALO SABRES (5-8-4)
REVERSING THE TIDE
The Sabres look to snap a six-game losing streak tonight as they face the Pittsburgh Penguins at Key Bank Center. The Sabres hope they catch the Pens with tired legs after Pittsburgh defeated the New York Islanders in overtime last night in Brooklyn.
RASMUS VS. GINO AND SID
Sabres’ defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen will face elite talent on the ice tonight, as he will play across Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Ristolainen has yet to score a goal this season, however he leads the Sabres with assists (eight) and time-on-ice per-game (25:51).
All eyes will be on Crosby, as he is picking up points quickly after missing the early part of the season with a concussion. No. 87 has had three multiple-point games in his past six contests, helping bring his season point-total to 11 goals and four assists for 15 points in 11 games.
Through 17 games the Sabres only have one skater with double-digit points, as Kyle Okposo has five goals and five assists for 10 points. Ryan O’Reilly has nine, while Ristolainen and Matt Moulson have eight each. Realistically, if the Sabres want to make a playoff run in the spring they must begin to score now before they fall out of the race.
OFF BALANCE PENS?
With a win last night and a home-and-home series coming up against the New York Rangers on Monday and Wednesday, the Penguins could easily overlook this tilt, giving the Sabres a good shot at two points. The Sabres would be well served to go after the Penguins early to try and catch them flat-footed after flying in from New York City overnight.