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About the Sabres - 03-31-12

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

A preview of the Sabres.

When and where: 7:30 p.m., EST. First Niagara Center.

TV: Root Sports; MSG Buffalo

Record: 38-29-10, 86 points. The Sabres are in eighth place of the Eastern Conference and third place in the Northeast Division.

Leading Scorer: Jason Pominville, 68 points (29 goals, 39 assists).

Last Game: 5-1 road win against the Capitals, Wednesday. Drew Stafford (right) had two goals for the Sabres.

Last Game against the Penguins: 6-2 home win, Feb. 19. Marc-Andre Fleury and Brent Johnson each had nine saves for the Penguins.

Sabres Player We Would Bet Money On Scoring: Pominville. He has five poitns in three games against the Penguins' this season.

Ex-Penguins on the Sabres: Jordan Leopold, D.

Ex-Sabres on the Penguins: Jason Botterill, assistant general manager; Andre Savard, professional scout.

Useless Sabres Trivia Vaguely Related to the Penguins: The first fight in Sabres history was between center Brian McDonald and Penguins center Bryan Hextall in the Sabres' first game as a franchise, a 2-1 win at the Civic Arena, Oct. 10, 1970.

Best Sabres Video We Could Find: Former Sabres tough guy Rob Ray beating up a Quebec Nordiques fan who ran onto the ice during the 1991-92 season:

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Probable goaltenders: Dan Bylsma would not say if Marc-Andre Fleury (41-16-4, 2.32 GAA, .914 SV%) or Brent Johnson (3-7-2, 3.17 GAA, .882 SV%) would get the start for the Penguins. Ryan Miller (30-18-7, 2.46 GAA, .919 SV%) for the Sabres.

Injuries: For the Penguins, goaltender defensemen Kris Letang ("lower body"), Matt Niskanen ("upper body") and center Joe Vitale ("upper body") are day to day. Defenseman Ben Lovejoy (knee) is out. For the Sabres, left winger Matt Ellis (knee) and center Nathan Gerbe ("upper body") are day to day. Defenseman Christian Ehrhoff (knee) is out. Center Jochen Hecht (concussion) is on injured reserve

Potential Lines and defensive Pairings: The Penguins' had an optional morning skate today. Their primary lines and defensive pairings against the Islanders last night:

Steve Sullivan - Evgeni Malkin - James Neal
Chris Kunitz - Sidney Crosby - Pascal Dupuis
Matt Cooke - Jordan Staal - Tyler Kennedy
Eric Tangradi - Craig Adams - Arron Asham

Brooks Orpik - Zbynek Michalek
Brian Strait - Paul Martin
Simon Despres - Deryk Engelland

-The Sabres primary lines and defensive pairings at today's morning skate were:

Ville Leino - Derek Roy - Jason Pominville
Corey Tropp - Cody Hodgson - Thomas Vanek
Marcus Foligno - Tyler Ennis - Drew Stafford
Cody McCormick - Brad Boyes - Patrick Kaleta

Jordan Leopold - Tyler Myers
Robyn Regehr - Andrej Sekera
Mike Weber - Alexander Sulzer

Notes:

-The last time the Penguins played the Sabres, this happened:

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-Fleury needs one win to tie Tom Barrasso's franchise record of 226 career wins.

-Crosby has 597 career points.

-Orpik has 99 career assists.

-Dupuis has a 12-game scoring streak.

-If the Sabres gain a point, the Islanders would be officially eliminated from playoff contention.

-Will Johnson get a start tonight?

-The Penguins have had 32 individual 100-point seasons, the most in NHL history. The Oilers are second with 28.

-The Sabres will hold a fan appreciation function before tonight's game.

-"There's always excitement in that city when you've got as a good of a team as they do." - Sabres defenseman and Cranberry native Mike Weber.

-Our live blog, direct from the Queen City, will begin at approximately 6:30 p.m. Please tune in.

(Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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