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Sabres at Golden Knights: Five Things to Know

LAS VEGAS -- The Buffalo Sabres are on their first trip to Sin City and get down to business Tuesday night, closing their four-game road trip with their first meeting against the expansion Vegas Golden Knights.

The Sabres (1-4-1) are coming off Sunday's 3-1 win in Anaheim while Vegas improved to 4-1 with a 3-1 win here over Boston. It's a 10 p.m. start on MSG and WGR Radio with Rick Jeanneret scheduled to do the play-by-play.

Here are Five Things to Know about tonight's game:

1. Johnson stays in, Okposo is back: Chad Johnson, who got the win Sunday, will make his second straight start in goal for the Sabres after making 25 saves to beat the Ducks.

"He had a very very solid game, made some key saves in critical moments in the game," said  coach Phil Housley. "And that's why he's getting the start tonight."

Kyle Okposo returns from illness but Jacob Josefson (foot/ankle) is out and listed as day to day. That made the lines look like this:


Okposo back in Sabres' lineup against Golden Knights

2. Expansion success: The Golden Knights became the first expansion team in NHL history to win their first three games and are the first team since the 1926-27 New York Rangers to go 4-1 in the first five games in their history.

"They're a top team in the league right now that's won games and won them in different ways," Okposo said. "They've got guys over there who are experienced and tested and know how to win and play in this league. They're going to be ready. We have to be prepared and ready to battle.

"It's obviously an emotional time for the city and that's fueled them and made it a tough place to play. We're going to have to be ready to go to battle tonight."

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3. The Vegas lineup: With Marc-Andre Fleury out due to a concussion, Malcolm Subban stays in net for the Golden Knights after picking up his first NHL win Sunday. Jason Garrison and former Sabres defenseman Brayden McNabb will remain as healthy scratches. Neither played Sunday. Russian free agent Vadim Shipchayov made his debut Sunday and scored against the Bruins, making him the first expansion player to score in his NHL  debut since Gilbert Perreault tallied the game-winner for the Sabres in their inaugural game at Pittsburgh in 1970.

4. Splitting the road trip hand: The Sabres are looking for a split of the four-game trip. They have not won consecutive games on the same Pacific Division trip since Feb. 29 and March 1, 2012.

5. Sabres vs. expansion teams: Buffalo is 14-2-1 all-time in the first meeting against teams that joined the league via expansion after 1970. The last such game, however, was a loss, a 2-1 defeat at Columbus on Jan. 23, 2001. The Sabres are 10-3-4 in their first road game against a new team.

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