Top scorers Panarin and Eichel meet in New York-Buffalo matchup
Buffalo Sabres (23-23-8, sixth in the Atlantic Division) vs. New York Rangers (26-22-4, seventh in the Metropolitan Division)
New York; Friday, 7 p.m. EST
BOTTOM LINE: A pair of the NHL’s best scorers, Artemi Panarin and Jack Eichel, meet when New York and Buffalo hit the ice. Panarin ranks fifth in the NHL with 71 points and Eichel ranks eighth in the league with 66 points.
The Rangers are 19-12-2 against conference opponents. New York has scored 171 goals and ranks eighth in the league averaging 3.3 per game. Panarin leads the team with 27.
The Sabres are 8-11-2 against opponents from the Atlantic Division. Buffalo has given up 40 power-play goals, killing 74.5% of opponent chances.
In their last meeting on Oct. 24, New York won 6-2. Ryan Strome totaled two goals for the Rangers.
TOP PERFORMERS: Panarin leads the Rangers with 27 goals, adding 44 assists and totaling 71 points. Chris Kreider has six goals and four assists over the last 10 games for New York.
Eichel leads the Sabres with 35 total assists and has collected 66 points. Sam Reinhart has scored five goals over the last 10 games for Buffalo.
LAST 10 GAMES: Sabres: 4-5-1, averaging 2.6 goals, 4.1 assists, 2.7 penalties and 5.6 penalty minutes while allowing 2.6 goals per game with a .909 save percentage.
Rangers: 6-4-0, averaging 3.3 goals, 5.5 assists, 4.1 penalties and 13.4 penalty minutes while giving up 2.8 goals per game with a .910 save percentage.
INJURIES: Rangers: None listed.
Sabres: Curtis Lazar: day to day (illness), Rasmus Dahlin: day to day (upper body), Kyle Okposo: out (upper body).