An early afternoon game means no morning skate, but here are some things to know as the Sabres host the Florida Panthers at 1 p.m. in KeyBank Center Saturday:
1. Anders Nilsson gets the start. The Swede makes his third straight start. He is 0-1-1 with a 2.90 goals against average and a .903 save percentage. Dan Bylsma, in his morning media availability, said Robin Lehner would be Nilsson's backup Saturday and that Linus Ullmark was being reassigned to Rochester.
2. Sabres hope to avoid extending their winless streak. Buffalo enters the game 0-3-1 in its last four. The team will look to avoid its first five-game winless streak since they lost six straight from Dec. 28, 2015 to Jan. 8, 2016.
3. It's a back-to-back weekend. Saturday is the first of a league-high 19 sets of back-to-back games for the Sabres. After Saturday's game the team will fly to Winnipeg to take on the Jets at 3 p.m. Sunday. (That's a 2 p.m. local start in Winnipeg.)
4. Welcome back Mark Pysyk. The defenseman returns to face his old team for the first time. Pysyk was traded during June's NHL draft, going from Buffalo to Florida in exchange for defenseman Dmitry Kulikov and a swap of draft choices. Pysyk was drafted in the first round of the 2010 NHL draft by Buffalo, playing 125 games for the Sabres recording 26 points (five goals, 21 assists) over four seasons.
5. Special teams watch. The Panthers have allowed only two power play goals this season and have killed off seven of eight penalties on the road (85.7 percent). Meanwhile Florida has scored a power play goal in each of its last four games.