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Game Preview: Buffalo Sabres at New Jersey Devils

The New Jersey Devils will look to wrap up their season-long six-game homestand with a perfect 6-0 record in that period.

NHL: New Jersey Devils at Buffalo Sabres
Last time the Sabres and Devils met up, on October 9, Jesper Bratt had 2 goals and an assist in New Jersey’s 6-2 win in Buffalo.
Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

The Matchup: The Buffalo Sabres (9-20-8; SBN Blog: Die By The Blade) at the New Jersey Devils (22-9-5)

The Time: 7:00 PM EST

The Broadcast: TV - MSG+ ; Digital Audio - The One Jersey Network

The Devils’ Last Game: New Jersey played a strong first period, and followed it up by getting visibly outplayed in the latter two periods of their 3-1 win Wednesday night against the Detroit Red Wings. Nico Hischier scored twice, and Cory Schneider made 31 saves in another spectacular performance from the New Jersey starter.

The Sabres’ Last Game: Buffalo is playing the middle game of their three-game swing to the Tri-State Area. After tonight’s game against the Devils they will play at Citi Field against Our Hated Rivals in this year’s NHL Winter Classic. They lost in gut-wrenching fashion on Wednesday night against the New York Islanders. Surrendering their 2-1 lead with 1:08 remaining in regulation, before becoming the latest victim of the Islanders’ own rookie number 13, Mathew Barzal, who is a definite contender in the Calder Trophy race this season. Buffalo goalie Robin Lehner was clearly not happy following the loss, he was particularly heated over the game-tying goal, which called for an official league review to determine that the puck had crossed the goal line. Lehner made comments alleging that the officials in Wednesday night’s game “robbed” the Sabres, and that “everything is predetermined against us.”. Some pretty outlandish comments considering the official replay clearly showed the puck cross the goal line on the Josh Bailey game-tying goal with a little over a minute left. But frustrations tend to boil over when a team is playing at the level the Sabres are this season. Here’s Die By The Blade’s recap of that game.

The Lineups: New Jersey’s lines in Thursday’s practice were posted by Andrew Gross on Twitter. They look like this:

According to Andrew, Cory Schneider will make his season-high eighth-straight start in tonight’s game. No word on who the starter will be for Saturday night’s showdown with the Washington Capitals.

The Sabres’ rolled the same lines in practice yesterday that they used in their morning skate the day of the Islander game. They are as follows:

No word on the Buffalo starter as of yet.

Thoughts: Any thoughts? Place them in the comments section below.