The All-Star break is over and the Buffalo Sabres will see if they can parlay a three-game road winning streak into a win on home ice. They host the New Jersey Devils at 7 p.m. in KeyBank Center. Here's what you need to know:
1. Trending in different directions. The Buffalo Sabres are on a three-game winning streak. They're looking for their first four-game win streak since December 2014. The team last had points in four straight games from Dec. 5 to 12, 2017, when they went 2-0-2.
Meanwhile the Devils are fighting for their playoff lives. They are on a four-game losing streak and have been shut out twice in that span (by Detroit and Nashville). New Jersey is tied with the Philadelphia Flyers in the Eastern Conference wild-card race. Both teams have 56 points with the Rangers and Islanders behind with 55.
2. Taylor Hall likely to return. One of the reasons for New Jersey's slide was the injury to Taylor Hall, who has missed the last three games with a right hand/thumb injury and could not represent the Devils at the NHL All-Star Game. The left-winger leads the Devils with 17 goals and 48 points. He is likely to return to the lineup tonight.
3. Sabres goalies are hot. Robin Lehner and Chad Johnson have combined to stop all 80 shots faced at even strength in Buffalo's last three games. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Sabres goalies have only once gone four straight games without allowing an even-strength goal – when Jhonas Enroth and Michal Neuvirth combined to stop 102 even-strength shots from Nov. 18 to 28, 2014.
Lehner, who will get the start against New Jersey, has posted back-to-back shutouts for the first time in franchise history since Ryan Miller had two in a row Feb. 29 and March 1, 2012. Lehner has now played 119:26 without allowing a goal, leaving him 7:33 shy of his career-best shutout streak set from Feb. 16 to 21, 2016.
The combined shutout streak of 173:30 is the team's longest since the franchise record of 226:24 set from Jan. 16 to 25, 2003.
4. Jack Eichel is on a career-best pace. Eichel is on pace to shatter his personal bests in goals (24), assists (33) and points (57). His projected pace has him finishing the season with 33 goals, 49 assists, and 82 points. And he's doing it at even strength.
Eichel has 18 even-strength goals, the most in his three-year NHL career.
5. The lineup remains the same. Sabres coach Phil Housley said there were no changes to the lineup and that he likes the mix of guys right now.
"I think just the balance," Housley said. "Being able to roll four lines is really important. Short shifts. I think our shift length has been really, really good and we've been able to play with pace. Our puck movement from our D has been very good when we want to counter or regroup in the neutral zone."