National Hockey League
Preview
Buffalo at New Jersey
When: 7:00 PM ET, Monday, March 25, 2019
Where: Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey

The Buffalo Sabres, who won 10 straight games in November and looked ready to snap a seven-year postseason drought, were officially eliminated from playoff contention with a 7-4 loss at Montreal on Saturday. The Sabres now hope to find some positives in the final eight games of another disappointing season, starting with a matchup against the host New Jersey Devils on Monday night.

“It’s been a long process here, it’s been a long year,” Buffalo captain Jack Eichel told reporters. “These same issues seem to continue to haunt us. We have to get better here for the next few games. I think there’s a lot of pride on the line, there’s a lot to play for. We represent our city, we represent each other and this organization. That should be enough right there. We’ve got to play for each other more.” The Sabres are 3-13-2 in their last 18 games, including a 4-1 loss to the Devils on Feb. 17, and have not won a road game since late January - going 0-9-2 in that stretch. New Jersey, which made the playoffs last season, has the third fewest points in the league in 2018-19 with a combination of injuries to key players such as reigning Hart Trophy winner Taylor Hall, an 11-10-9 record in one-goal games and inconsistent play overall. The Devils have rebounded from a seven-game losing streak by winning three of their last six contests, including a 2-1 shootout triumph against Western Conference playoff contender Arizona on Saturday.

TV: 7 p.m. ET, MSG Buffalo, MSG Plus (New Jersey)

ABOUT THE SABRES (31-34-9): Eichel continues to add to his career-high total with three of his team-leading 75 points in the past two games and the next goal will be the 22-year-old center’s 100th of his career. Sam Reinhart scored Saturday to reach 200 points in his career - 60 this season - while fellow forward Jeff Skinner tops the team with 37 goals, but just one of them has come in the past 17 contests. Rookie Rasmus Dahlin has an assist in three straight games to reach 40 points, joining Buffalo coach Phil Housley as the only 18-year-old defensemen in NHL history to achieve that.

ABOUT THE DEVILS (28-39-9): Center Nico Hischier had four shots in his return Saturday after a nine-game absence due to an upper-body injury and boasts 44 points, second only to right wing Kyle Palmieri (50) on the team. Palmieri is mired in a four-game point streak while forwards Blake Coleman (21 goals) and Travis Zajac along with defenseman Damon Severson have not made the scoresheet in the past five contests. Left wing Miles Wood (eight goals, 22 points) recorded an assist Saturday after missing the previous 12 games with an ankle injury.

OVERTIME

1. New Jersey D Will Butcher (four goals, 28 points) is questionable after missing two games with illness.

2. Buffalo RW Kyle Okposo needs one assist to reach 300 in his career, but has not made the scoresheet in his last seven contests.

3. The Devils are 0-for-13 with the man advantage the last five games, but have killed all 10 power-play chances in the past four contests.

PREDICTION: Devils 4, Sabres 3
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div
Buffalo 31-34-6-3 L2 20-13-4-0 11-21-2-3 11-3-0-0 20-31-6-3 9-11-3-1
New Jersey 28-39-5-4 W1 18-14-4-2 10-25-1-2 8-8-2-1 20-31-3-3 8-15-1-2
Last Meeting
Buffalo New Jersey
Date Away Home Shots Saves PP Shots Saves PP
2/17/19 BUF 1 NJ 4 35 20 0-3 24 34 1-2
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Total Points Player  
Buffalo Z. Bogosian 1
New Jersey K. Palmieri 3
Goals Player  
Buffalo S. Reinhart 1
New Jersey J. Anderson 1
Assists Player  
Buffalo Z. Bogosian 1
New Jersey A. Greene 2
Saves Player  
Buffalo C. Hutton 20
New Jersey C. Schneider 34
Season
Total Points Player  
Buffalo J. Eichel 79
New Jersey K. Palmieri 55
Goals Player  
Buffalo J. Skinner 40
New Jersey K. Palmieri 29
Assists Player  
Buffalo J. Eichel 52
New Jersey T. Hall 29
Saves Player  
Buffalo C. Hutton 1347
New Jersey C. Schneider 557
Quickchart Matchup
Buffalo Off vs  New Jersey Def
2.72 GF
3.36 GA
32.5 Shots
31.4 Shots
40 PP
38 PK
New Jersey Off vs  Buffalo Def
2.7 GF
3.26 GA
30.4 Shots
33.3 Shots
40 PP
36 PK