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4:00 PM PT5:00 PM MT6:00 PM CT7:00 PM ET0:00 GMT8:00 5:00 PM MST7:00 PM EST4:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ET22:00 BRT, December 12, 2019
KeyBank Center, Buffalo, New York  Attendance: 17,211

Eichel aims to extend streak as Sabres host Predators

Nashville Predators at Buffalo Sabres

  1. The Predators have left with a victory in each of their last eight visits to Buffalo, tied for the longest winning streak on the road against a single opponent in franchise history (8 vs. Avalanche, 2016-19). It is also the Sabres' longest losing streak at home to any opponent in team history.
  2. Buffalo has won three straight home games and has outscored opponents 18-7 during the streak, recording at least five goals in each of those victories. The Sabres haven't scored five or more goals in four consecutive home games in the same season since Feb. 16-23, 1997.
  3. The Predators scored all of their goals in the third period in Tuesday's 3-1 win over San Jose and outshot the Sharks 19-9 in the final frame. Nashville leads the NHL this season with a +2.72 shots-on-goal differential in the third period, while Buffalo ranks last in that category at -2.41.
  4. Jack Eichel has scored 12 of his team-leading 20 goals during a 14-game point streak he extended by lighting the lamp twice in Buffalo's 5-2 win over St. Louis on Tuesday. Eichel's streak is the second-longest in the NHL this season behind Patrick Kane (15, Nov. 2-30) and the longest by a Sabres player since Tim Connolly had a 16-game run in 2009-10.
  5. Ryan Johansen owns a 10-game point streak against Buffalo and has a goal in three of the Predators' last five matchups with the Sabres. Johansen's streak is his longest against any opponent for his career and tied with John Tavares and Evgeni Malkin for the longest active point streak against Buffalo.
  6. Victor Olofsson had two assists against the Blues to stretch his home point streak to eight games, the longest by a Sabres rookie in the last 30 years. Olofsson has recorded multiple points in four of his last five games, producing two goals and six assists during that stretch.

Captain Jack Eichel will attempt to match Patrick Kane for the NHL's longest point streak of the season on Thursday when the Buffalo Sabres host the Nashville Predators.

Eichel extended his career-high point streak to 14 games by scoring the eventual winning goal 5:46 into the third period of Tuesday's 5-2 victory over St. Louis. The NHL's Third Star of the Week sealed the win by tallying into the empty net, boosting his point total to 25 (12 goals, 13 assists) since his 14-game point streak began with a career-best four-goal performance against Ottawa on Nov. 16.

Eichel has reached the 20-goal plateau in just his 32nd game this season, putting him on pace to become the Sabres' first 50-goal scorer since Alexander Mogilny (76) and Pat Lafontaine (53) accomplished the feat during the 1992-93 campaign.

The 23-year-old Eichel isn't one to speak glowingly on his own accomplishments, however. With that in mind, the former Hobey Baker Award winner's post-game interview quickly shifted to the team getting acclimated to coach Ralph Krueger's systems and expectations while it ascends in the standings.

"I think we're starting to form an identity of our group and I think with the confidence Ralph has instilled in us and the way he wants us to play, it's evident the way we need to play every night to give ourselves a chance to win," Eichel said, per the Buffalo News.

The Sabres have collected at least a point in seven of their last eight games (4-1-3) to move into second place in the Atlantic Division.

"They're keeping it really simple," Krueger said, per the Buffalo News. "How much have we spoken about small picture, constant improvement? That's it. Real simple processes. To get there on a daily basis in this league is really difficult."

Rookie Victor Olofsson recorded his fourth multi-point performance in five games with two assists versus the Blues. He has 18 points (six goals, 12 assists) in his last 17 contests while linemate Sam Reinhart has 14 (seven goals, seven assists) in that same stretch.

Like Buffalo, Nashville also secured at least a point in seven of its last eight games (5-1-2) after skating to a 3-1 victory over slumping San Jose on Tuesday.

While appreciative of the current hot streak, Predators captain Roman Josi told reporters that more is needed if the club is going to punch its ticket to the playoffs for a sixth straight season. Nashville resides in fifth place in the Central Division.

"It's something we talked about," Josi said. "We are obviously not happy with where we are in the standings, and we need to put together some wins. We've done a good job lately."

Nick Bonino scored in his second consecutive contest on Tuesday to boost his team-leading goal total to 12.

"Obviously the scoring this year is great, but there's so many little things (Bonino) does," Josi said. "Every time he's out there, you know he's doing his job. He wins faceoffs, he's great defensively, he's great offensively. He kind of does it all for us."

Ryan Johansen, who also scored on Tuesday, netted the go-ahead goal in the third period of Nashville's 3-2 victory in Buffalo on April 2. The 27-year-old has recorded 14 points (three goals, 11 assists) in 15 career encounters with the Sabres.

The Predators have won four of the last five meetings between the teams, with three of those victories coming via a one-goal margin.

--Field Level Media

Updated December 11, 2019

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