Sabres' Housley called Skinner a game-time decision

Jeff Skinner said he's ready to play in Vancouver

Paul Hamilton
January 18, 2019 - 5:07 pm

Photo: Sergei Belski - USA TODAY Sports

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Vancouver, BC (WGR 550) - On Friday, Phil Housley called Jeff Skinner a game-time decision. Skinner was hit in the corner on Wednesday and briefly went to the locker room. Skinner participated in the optional morning skate. He said, “I felt good, it was pleasant out there.” When I asked him if he was ready to play he said, “Yep.”

Despite winning in Calgary on Wednesday, everything went against Buffalo in the standings on Thursday so they’re still ninth in the Eastern Conference. Two points behind Pittsburgh, three back of Montreal, four behind the Islanders, five back of Washington and Boston and six back of Toronto. Buffalo now has a five-point lead on Carolina.

After a stellar game against the Flames, Linus Ullmark is back in net. Ullmark is 10-3-3 with a 2.86 goals-against and .917 save percentage. That win broke a personal two-game losing streak for Ullmark.

Evan Rodrigues only has four goals this season, but he’s scored two in his last two games.

Rasmus Dahlin has points in five straight games, which ties a NHL record for consecutive games with a point by an 18-year-old defenseman. Bobby Orr and Phil Housley have also done it, and Dahlin’s head coach wants to relinquish that record, “Just for the record I hope he breaks it.”

Dahlin has five assists and six points in those five games. He said being in the same company as Orr is nice, but, “Of course it’s amazing, but if you think about it too much, it’s going to get bad so I’m just going to go out and don’t think about it.”

Dahlin is past the middle of the season having played in 47 games. He has five goals and 21 assists for 26 points. He said, “It’s gone much better than I thought, I’ve had some ups and downs, but we’ve played pretty good, me too, so I’m pretty happy with how I’ve played.”

Buffalo beat Vancouver at home in a shootout back on November 10.

The Sabres' penalty kill has stumbled in the last three games, killing only 2-of-6 penalties.

If Skinner plays, then Remi Elie is scratched as well as Nate Beaulieu and Matt Hunwick.

Vancouver has only won one of five games. They hoped to have rookie sensation Elias Pettersson back from injury, but they won’t. Pettersson has missed four games.

Pettersson leads the Canucks in scoring with 22 goals and 20 assists for 42 points in 38 games.

Bo Horvat has 17 goals, while Brock Boeser has 15.

Former Team USA World Junior goalie Thatcher Demko gets his second NHL start in goal. This season in Utica, Demko is 8-5-0 with a 2.58 goals-against and .911 save percentage.

Vancouver is 6-3-1 in its last 10 meetings against the Sabres. Buffalo is 4-6-0 in its last 10 versus the Canucks, and 2-7-1 here in Vancouver.

Join Pat Malacaro for the pre-game starting at 9:00 when he’ll be joined by Phil Housley, Jack Eichel and Rasmus Dahlin.

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