COLUMBUS, Ohio – Hot teams. Hotter goalies.
Here are Five Things to Know as the Sabres visit the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday night.
1. Teams are rolling
Buffalo improved to 4-1 in its last five games Monday with a 4-2 victory over Florida. Brian Gionta scored in his 1,000th NHL game.
Columbus, meanwhile, is riding an extended streak. The Blue Jackets are 13-4-2 in their last 19 games and 8-2 in their last 10 in Nationwide Arena.
They are still hoping to win the Metropolitan Division. First-place Washington has 106 points in 74 games. Columbus has 103 points in 74 games, while Pittsburgh has 103 points in 75 games.
2. Net results
Neither team had a morning skate Tuesday, so the goaltenders will be announced around 5 p.m. Both clubs have fine options.
Columbus’ Sergei Bobrovsky leads the NHL in wins (40), save percentage (.934) and goals-against average (1.99). He is 9-0-2 in his last 11, putting up a .967 save percentage and 1.08 GAA while posting four shutouts.
The Sabres’ Robin Lehner made 30 saves Monday. He has stopped 222 of 236 shots during his last six games for a .941 save percentage.
3. Jack be nimble
Sabres center Jack Eichel had two assists Monday to extend his hot streak. Eichel has 11 goals, 23 assists and 34 points in the last 26 games.
He’s averaging a point per game this season with 23 goals, 32 assists and 55 points in 55 games.
4. Clash of special teams
The Sabres scored two more power-play goals Monday, boosting their NHL-best unit to 25.1 percent. Buffalo is 6 for 8 with the man-advantage during the past four games.
The Columbus penalty-killers have been nearly unbeatable at home. The Blue Jackets have killed 21 of 22 chances during the last 11 in Columbus. Overall, the unit is 49 for its last 55 (89.1 percent).
The Sabres won the previous meeting, 5-3, after falling into a 3-0 hole.
5. Impressive rookie
Columbus defenseman Zach Werenski has put himself into a conversation with Phil Housley and Tyler Myers. With 11 goals and 36 assists, the 19-year-old Werenski has 47 points. That’s sixth all time by a teenage defenseman during his rookie season.
Los Angeles’ Larry Murphy (1980-81) leads the list with 76 points, followed by Buffalo’s Housley (66 points in 1982-83), Boston’s Ray Bourque (65 in 1979-80) and Buffalo’s Myers (2009-10) and the Islanders’ Bryan Berard (1996-97), who had 48 points each.