National Hockey League
Preview
Buffalo at Vancouver
When: 10:00 PM ET, Friday, January 18, 2019
Where: Rogers Arena, Vancouver, British Columbia

It looks like the Vancouver Canucks will be a bit more patient with rookie phenom Elias Pettersson as they continue a six-game homestand Friday against the Buffalo Sabres. Pettersson, who is a prohibitive favorite to win the Calder Trophy, is expected to miss his fifth straight game with a knee injury, according to coach Travis Green, after piling up 22 goals and 42 points - numbers that dwarf all other NHL rookies.

Vancouver, which is 1-0-2 on its homestand after Wednesday's 3-2 shootout loss to Edmonton, and Buffalo sit just outside wild-card position in their respective conferences with the Sabres potentially facing less of a logjam. Buffalo snapped a three-game losing streak Wednesday with a 4-3 victory over Calgary on captain Jack Eichel's overtime goal, improving to 10-3-1 versus the Pacific Division this season. "Every win is very important for us at this time of the season,'' Sabres goaltender Linus Ullmark told reporters after making 30 saves. "We want to get to the (Stanley Cup) playoffs, and getting to the playoffs means winning these games.'' Buffalo prevailed 4-3 in a shootout Nov. 10 in the first of two meetings this season behind 36 saves from Carter Hutton, who is 2-1-0 with a 1.80 goals-against average and .943 save percentage versus Vancouver.

TV: 10 p.m. ET, MSG Buffalo, Sportsnet Pacific (Vancouver)

ABOUT THE SABRES (24-17-6): Eichel (16 goals, team-high 51 points) was kept off the scoresheet for five straight games before recording a goal and an assist Wednesday. Jeff Skinner's 30 goals were second in the league to Washington's Alex Ovechkin (33) entering Thursday's games, but he hasn't scored in three contests since recording four in the first four January matches. Rasmus Dahlin scored his fifth goal of the season Wednesday and leads NHL rookie defenseman with 26 points - six during a five-game point streak.

ABOUT THE CANUCKS (21-21-6): Bo Horvat, who is second on the team in goals (17) and points (37), hasn't scored in 10 games and recorded three assists during that span. Brock Boeser, the 2018 Calder Trophy runner-up, has 15 goals but only one in his last seven contests. Jacob Markstrom (18-12-5, 2.80, .908) has allowed a total of three goals in his last two games and has permitted three or fewer in 13 of his past 15 contests, going 10-3-2, 2.11, .926 in that time.

OVERTIME

1. Vancouver is 1-for-16 with the man advantage while killing 9-of-10 penalties in its last five games.

2. Buffalo has allowed four goals in six short-handed situations over the last three contests while going 0-for-11 on the power play during that span and 1-for-20 in its past seven games.

3. The Canucks acquired Luke Schenn and a seventh-round draft pick in 2020 from Anaheim for fellow D Michael Del Zotto (plus-3, 17:57 in 23 games). Schenn will be assigned to AHL Utica.

PREDICTION: Canucks 3, Sabres 2
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div
Buffalo 24-17-5-1 W1 14-6-3-0 10-11-2-1 8-1-0-0 16-16-5-1 8-6-3-0
Vancouver 21-21-3-3 L1 10-9-2-1 11-12-1-2 2-3-0-1 19-18-3-2 6-5-2-1
Last Meeting
Buffalo Vancouver
Date Away Home Shots Saves PP Shots Saves PP
11/10/18 VAN 3 BUF 4 (SO) 37 36 0-2 39 34 0-4
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Total Points Player  
Buffalo R. Dahlin 2
Vancouver L. Eriksson 2
Goals Player  
Buffalo N. Beaulieu 1
Vancouver L. Eriksson 1
Assists Player  
Buffalo R. Dahlin 2
Vancouver A. Roussel 2
Saves Player  
Buffalo C. Hutton 36
Vancouver J. Markstrom 34
Season
Total Points Player  
Buffalo J. Eichel 55
Vancouver E. Pettersson 47
Goals Player  
Buffalo J. Skinner 33
Vancouver E. Pettersson 23
Assists Player  
Buffalo J. Eichel 38
Vancouver E. Pettersson 24
Saves Player  
Buffalo C. Hutton 911
Vancouver J. Markstrom 1044
Quickchart Matchup
Buffalo Off vs  Vancouver Def
2.85 GF
3.08 GA
32.2 Shots
30.6 Shots
25 PP
34 PK
Vancouver Off vs  Buffalo Def
2.85 GF
2.96 GA
29 Shots
32.9 Shots
27 PP
24 PK