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Game Preview #59 - Trees Falling In Forests

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Will this game make a sound?

Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

Buffalo Sabres at Columbus Blue Jackets

February 24, 2015 - 7:00 pm EST
Nationwide Arena - Columbus, Ohio
Radio - WBNS 97.1 - TV - Fox Sports Ohio
Opponent's Blog: Die By The Blade

Boy, there isn't much to get fired up about with respect to this matchup. Give the Sabres credit, though: despite the huge talent gap, they haven't packed it in, taking a tough Nashville team to OT the other night. If the Jackets expect these guys to roll over, they are in for a rude awakening.

That said, if Columbus still believes that they have playoff chances, they must come out and dominate this game. They've shown the ability to play with the best teams in the east on this road trip--even if only for chunks of games--but they can ill afford a slow start again tonight. Don't even give the young Sabes any hope.

Anton Forsberg gets the start tonight, and James Wisniewski is back in the lineup. Brandon Dubinsky missed morning skate due to illness, but is expected to play tonight.

Remember: this is similar to the Sabres team that ended the Jackets eight-game winning streak last season. Don't expect to just chalk this up as a win. It has the potential to be a nightmare let-down.

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets
(26-28-4, 56 Points; 7th division, 13th conference)

Scott Hartnell Ryan Johansen Alexander Wennberg
Matt Calvert Brandon Dubinsky Cam Atkinson
Nick Foligno Artem Anisimov Marko Dano
Corey Tropp Mark Letestu Jared Boll
Jack Johnson David Savard
Kevin Connauton James Wisniewski
Fedor Tyutin Cody Goloubef
Anton Forsberg
Curtis McElhinney

Buffalo Sabres
(17-38-5, 39 Points; 8th Division, 16th Conference)

Chris Stewart Zemgus Girgensons Tyler Ennis
Matt Moulson Torrey Mitchell Brian Gionta
Marcus Foligno Brian Flynn Nicolas Deslauriers
Johan Larsson Matt Ellis Cody Hodgson
Andre Benoit Zach Bogosian
Jake McCabe Rasmus Ristolainen
Andrej Meszaros Mark Pysyk
Michal Neuvirth
Anders Lindback

Season Series

BUF - 0-1-0
CBJ - 1-0-0

10/09/14 - Columbus 3 at Buffalo 1
02/24/15 - Buffalo at Columbus
04/10/15 - Buffalo at Columbus

Head to Head Stats

Buffalo Columbus
1.72 (30) GPG 2.57 (22)
3.32 (30) GAPG 3.07 (26)
11.4% (30) PP% 21.2% (6)
74.8% (29) PK% 81.0% (16)
Tyler Ennis, 15 G leader Nick Foligno, 23
Tyler Ennis, 18 A leader Nick Foligno, 32
Tyler Ennis, 33 Pts leader Nick Foligno, 55
Nicolas Deslauriers, 64 PIM leader Jared Boll, 79
6-20-2 Road/Home 12-14-2
3-5-2 Last 10 5-4-1
2/22 vs. Nashville, L 2-1 (OT) Last Game 2/22 @ NY RangersL 4-3 (SO)