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Sabres face Predators for first time this year

Sabres face Predators for first time this year
Posted at 3:47 PM, Jan 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-24 15:50:31-05

Can we all agree that Nashville's yellow jersey and yellow helmet combo is fantastic? 

The Nashville Predators are one of the hottest teams in the National Hockey League and on Tuesday the Buffalo Sabres will do everything they can to cool them off. Nashville returns home after a road trip where they went 4-1 -- in their last ten games, the Preds are 7-3. 

At home Nashville sports an impressive 12-5-5 record, so yeah, the Sabres will have their hands full. The trip kicks off a mini two-game road trip for the Sabres, starting in Nashville and finishing in Dallas on Thursday night.

Buffalo has won two straight, coming from behind in both games, before winning each 3-2 in overtime. On the blue line, the Sabres will get a boost with the return of Dmitry Kulikov, who will play in his first game since December 27. Kulikov has missed 26 games this season -- but has been unimpressive in the 20 games he's played, notching only one assist. 

On Tuesday after the Sabres morning skate, Kulikov told reporters that he feels better than he has all year, so at least there's that. Kulikov's return comes just a few days after the Sabres lost defenseman Jake McCabe to a shoulder injury. Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma told WGR 550 that they're hoping for a two-week recovery for McCabe.

I expect Kulikov to be better than he was earlier in the season, but quite frankly, it would be hard for him not to be. 

Bove's players to watch:

PK Subban -- He's one of the most exciting players in the NHL. He returned from injury last week and failed to get on the score sheet in either of his first two games back, so logic tells us he's overdue. Crazy to say after only two games for a defender, but he's that good.

Filip Forsberg -- Forsberg has some of the silkiest mitts in the league. In 47 games Forsberg has a very respectable 31 points (14G, 17A) but he can explode at any time. 

Zach Bogosian and Cody Franson -- Once again it looks like Bogosian and Franson will be paired on the blue line. Both defenders are coming off strong performances on Saturday night against Montreal. No, they both aren't going to score every game like we saw vs. the Canadiens but the duo was solid in their own end of the ice. They'll need to be again on Tuesday because I'd expect Kulikov to be rusty. 

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