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Game 48 Preview: Sabres @ Avalanche

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After a huge win against the Jets, the Avalanche (23-21-3) come home to take on the Buffalo Sabres (18-23-4) and a familiar face.

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

The Avs put together yet another strong defensive outing Monday night against the Winnipeg Jets. While most of the credit for a total of three goals against in the last three games goes to the strong goaltending, it may not be a complete coincidence that the defensive results have come since promoting their young defensemen. Whatever the reason, the Avs will need to continue it after moving back into a playoff spot for the third time in two weeks. With the All-Star break fast approaching, the stretch run is not far behind and the Avalanche want to keep moving up rather than playing bumper cars with the Nashville Predators.

The Avs return home Wednesday night to face-off against a familiar face. Ryan O'Reilly and the Buffalo Sabres will visit the Pepsi Center for the first time since the blockbuster trade that sent O'Reilly east and won him the big money contract he was seeking. As expected, the Sabres are sitting near the bottom of the league in points, though showing much more promise then they were a year ago. While playoffs are likely a long shot for the Sabres this year, Ryan O'Reilly will hope to lead his new team in spoiling his old team's playoff aspirations Wednesday night.

LINES

Tanguay-MacKinnon-Duchene

Landeskog-Soderberg-Comeau

Martinsen-Wagner-Iginla

McLeod-Mitchell-Skille

Beauchemin-Zadorov

Holden-Barrie

Bigras-Redmond

Varlamov

Pickard

Scratches: Grigorenko, Bodnarchuk

NOTES

- Ryan O'Reilly leads the Sabres in points with 39 points on the season; one better than the Avalanche leading point getters, Matt Duchene and Nathan MacKinnon.

- The Sabres are 4-1-0 in their last five.

Carl Soderberg has quietly moved into a tie with Nathan MacKinnon for the team lead in assists (23).

GAME INFO

Game time: 8pm MT

TV: ALT