[7:00 PM] Sabres @ Hurricanes

Who will WIN this matchup?

Buffalo Sabres (12-11-6)

@ Carolina Hurricanes (12-11-7)


Starting Goalies:

Robin Lehner (BUF): Unconfirmed

Cam Ward (CAR): Confirmed


Defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen is becoming a major force on the offensive end of the ice for the Buffalo Sabres while enjoying a career-high, five-game point streak. The 22-year-old from Finland looks to extend his run when the Sabres visit the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday in a battle of teams hoping to join the Eastern Conference playoff race. Ristolainen recorded the winning goal in a 3-2 overtime victory over the New York Islanders on Friday and boasts two goals and seven assists in the last five games for Buffalo, which moved over .500 for the first time in more than a month.

The Hurricanes are 3-1-2 in their last six games but are finding it tough to keep pace in the Metropolitan Division, which has five teams that are at least 10 points ahead of them. Carolina saw its seven-game home winning streak end, but has points in eight straight in Raleigh, N.C.

Ristolainen also had an assist Friday and pushed his total to 21 points on the season — one shy of Kyle Okposo (team-high nine goals) for the team lead. Forward Matt Moulson also notched his eighth goal of the season against his former team Friday and Johan Larsson added a tally for the Sabres, who are 5-2-1 in their last eight games. Defensemen Zach Bogosian (knee) and Taylor Fedun (shoulder) are both skating with the team and could return to the lineup during the team’s two-game road trip.

Jeff Skinner had a goal Friday and boasts six points in his last five games to lead the team with 26 — one better than fellow forward Victor Rask. Rookie Sebastian Aho notched a pair of assists against Washington to increase his total to 16 points — third on the team — and Teuvo Teravainen recorded his third multi-point game of the season with a goal and an assist. Goalie Cam Ward (9-8-6) turned aside 23 of 26 shots against the Capitals and is expected to be in net again versus the Sabres.

The Sabres won all three meetings last season and own a four-game win streak against the Hurricanes.

StreakSmarts Pick: Carolina Hurricanes

Confidence: 5/10

StreakSmarter Pick