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Game Preview: Play sharper

The homestretch starts now

NHL: Buffalo Sabres at Columbus Blue Jackets Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The Columbus Blue Jackets host the Buffalo Sabres tonight in their third and final meeting of the season - all of which occurred in the month of March, for some reason. The first meeting was a back and forth battle with Columbus prevailing thanks to 2 power play goals. The second meeting was the next night in Buffalo, featuring Columbus blowing a 3-0 first intermission lead.

Buffalo is a worse team on paper, but still has dangerous young talent. Their power play is tops in the league. They added 2 more power play goals in a 4-2 win over Florida last night at home.

While the Sabres are on the second leg of a back-to-back, the Blue Jackets are coming off their final 2 day break of the regular season. They spent practice yesterday working on the struggling power play. Hopefully some line shuffles help, with Seth Jones and Scott Hartnell bumped up to the first unit.

In lineup changes, on Saturday William Karlsson was moved to left wing, with Lukas Sedlak shifted back to center. That line played their best game in weeks and were rewarded with extra shifts by Torts.

The most noteworthy lineup news for Buffalo is that defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen will miss the game due to suspension.

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets
Boone Jenner Brandon Dubinsky Josh Anderson
Brandon Saad Sam Gagner Cam Atkinson
Scott Hartnell Alexander Wennberg Nick Foligno
William Karlsson Lukas Sedlak Matt Calvert
Zach Werenski Seth Jones
Jack Johnson David Savard
Kyle Quincey Markus Nutivaara
Sergei Bobrovsky
Joonas Korpisalo
Buffalo Sabres
Tyler Ennis Ryan O'Reilly Kyle Okposo
Marcus Foligno Jack Eichel Sam Reinhart
Evander Kane Evan Rodrigues Brian Gionta
William Carrier Zemgus Girgensons Matt Moulson
Dmitry Kulikov Jake McCabe
Brady Austin Zach Bogosian
Justin Falk Josh Gorges
Anders Nilsson
Robin Lehner