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Sabres Gameday: Tage Thompson Returns

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Star forward Tage Thompson is expected to return to the lineup as the Columbus Blue Jackets (12-18-7) are back in Buffalo to take on the Sabres (14-18-4). After winning an overtime thriller last night against the Toronto Maple Leafs, Columbus looks to repeat the result as they won in a 9-4 route last time they were in town on December 19th.

Where to Watch

Gametime: 5:00 p.m. ET

Location: KeyBank Center (Buffalo, NY)

TV: MSG

Stream: MSG+; ESPN+ (Out-of-market)

Radio: WGR550

The Sabres

The roster news and confusion surmounted in Buffalo after Tage Thompson was scratched minutes before the 4-1 Sabres loss to the Boston Bruins for personal reasons. After a bunch of shuffling involving Thompson, Tyson Jost, Ryan Johnson, and Zemgus Girgensons, it appears that Thompson, Johnson, and Girgensons will all be available to play this evening.

With Girgensons expected to be activated from injured reserve, the Sabres will sit with one extra player on the roster. A corresponding move will be necessary, so all eyes are on Eric Comrie and his roster status.

There was also shuffling within the powerplay units in practice yesterday, with Rasmus Dahlin and Owen Power switching spots. It sounds like the second unit will get some more run the usual today, now featuring Dahlin and youngsters JJ Peterka and Jack Quinn.

The Opponent

The Blue Jackets can certainly score the puck. After beating Toronto 6-5 in extra time last night, they now rank 10th in the NHL in goals-for. Stopping the puck is their issue, and goalie Elvis Merzlikins left yesterday’s game early with an illness.

Columbus, like the Sabres, carry three goalies. With Spencer Martin thrust into action last night, it’s very possible we see Daniil Tarasov again today. Tarasov stopped 25 of the 29 shots he faced in Buffalo on the 19th.

Injury Report

Buffalo

  • Zemgus Girgensons (Lower Body) Day-to-Day [IR]

Columbus

  • Zach Werenski (Ankle) Out [IR]
  • Sean Kuraly (Abdomen) Out
  • Elvis Merzlikins (Illness) Day-to-Day
  • Nick Blankenburg (Upper Body) Out [IR]
  • Patrik Laine (Collarbone) Out [IR]
  • Boone Jenner (Jaw) Out [IR]
  • Adam Boqvist (Shoulder) [IR]

Projected Lineups

Buffalo Sabres

Jeff Skinner – Tage Thompson – Alex Tuch

JJ Peterka – Dylan Cozens – Jack Quinn

Jordan Greenway – Casey Mittelstadt – Zach Benson

Zemgus Girgensons – Peyton Krebs – Kyle Okposo

Rasmus Dahlin – Mattias Samuelsson

Owen Power – Ryan Johnson

Connor Clifton – Erik Johnson

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (Projected)

 

Lineup Source: PuckLuck Projected

Goalie Source: PuckLuck Projected

 

Columbus Blue Jackets

Johnny Gaudreau – Adam Fantilli – Justin Danforth

Yegor Chinakhov – Dmitri Voronkov – Kirill Marchenko

Emil Bemstrom – Cole Sillinger – Kent Johnson

Alex Texier – Jack Roslovic – Brendan Gaunce

Damon Severson – David Jiricek

Ivan Provorov – Andrew Peeke

Jake Bean – Erik Gudbranson

Daniil Tarasov (Projected)

 

Lineup Source: PuckLuck Projected

Goalie Source: PuckLuck Projected

 

Betting Breakdown

Columbus Blue Jackets Buffalo Sabres win probability

There will be betting edge in today’s game, as the sportsbooks and betting public weigh in heavily the fact that the Columbus Blue Jackets have a quick turnaround on a back-to-back today.

Still, the projected spread – per PuckLuck.com – is less than half a goal. As of early Saturday morning you can buy the Blue Jackets on the puckline getting 1.5 goals at around -140. That infers about a 58% chance of that bet hitting while PuckLuck has it at about 66% with all factors considered.

Also keep an eye on the under in this one, as the public will see this as a clash of two high-scoring teams. While this may be true on the surface, anytime you can buy under 6.5 goals at +120 or better you’re likely getting value. Just average goaltending between the two sides will get you there.

*PuckLuck.com provides data related to gambling and cannot guarantee the success of any suggested or related wagers. Please gamble responsibly.*

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