The Hawks won the first meeting 3-2 in overtime Dec. 8 in Chicago. Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane share the team lead with 15 career points against the Sabres. Kane has two goals and three assists in his last three games against his hometown team. Chicago is 13-2 against Buffalo with Kane.
Jean-Francois Berube will start in net for Chicago after making 30 saves in relief during the Hawks’ 6-2 loss Thursday at Winnipeg. Berube is 0-0-1 against Buffalo in his career.
With Thursday’s loss, the Hawks dropped their third straight road game and fourth this month. Chicago has allowed at least six goals in those losses and been outscored 26-11 in its past five road games.
The Sabres may get two of their best offensive weapons back for Saturday’s game. Buffalo fell 5-2 to Toronto on Thursday and have now dropped three of its last four games. But the Sabres may see the return of winger Kyle Okposo and center Jack Eichel make in the lineup.
Okposo suffered a concussion 11 days ago after a collision with Ottawa’s Bobby Ryan. Okposo, who has a history with concussion, returned to practice Friday afternoon. He ranks fourth on the team in scoring with 38 points (11 goals, 27 assists) in as many games.
Eichel has missed several weeks with an ankle injury. Buffalo’s top scorer also returned to practice this week. He has 53 points (22 goals, 31 assists) in 55 games this season.
The Sabres will turn to backup Chad Johnson in net. Johnson is 7-11-3 with a 3.28 goals-against average and .896 save percentage in 27 games.
|F1||Brandon Saad - Jonathan Toews - Patrick Kane|
|F2||Matthew Highmore - Nick Schmaltz - Vinnie Hinostroza|
|F3||Tomas Jurco - Artem Anisimov - Alex DeBrincat|
|F4||Patrick Sharp - David Kampf - John Hayden|
|D1||Duncan Keith - Jan Rutta|
|D2||Erik Gustafsson - Brent Seabrook|
|D3||Jordan Oesterle - Connor Murphy|
|Goaltender||Anton Forsberg OR Jean-Francois Berube|
|F1||Jaden Schwartz - Brayden Schenn - Vladimir Tarasenko|
|F2||Patrik Berglund - Kyle Brodziak - Alex Steen|
|F3||Dmitrij Jaskin - Vladimir Sobotka - Tage Thompson|
|F4||Nikita Soshnikov - Ivan Barbashev - Chris Thorburn|
|D1||Carl Gunnarsson - Alex Pietrangelo|
|D2||Vince Dunn - Colton Parayko|
|D3||Joel Edmundson - Robert Bortuzzo|
|Goaltender||Jake Allen OR Ville Husso|
*Lines are subject to change.
How to watch Blackhawks at Sabres
Start time: Noon, Central time
Location: KeyBank Center, Buffalo