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Sabres at Oilers preview

McDavid, Eichel, top two picks of 2015 NHL Draft face off

by Derek Van Diest / Correspondent

SABRES (23-16-6) at OILERS (21-21-3)



The Game

Connor McDavid, the No. 1 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, and Jack Eichel, the No. 2 pick, will play against each other for the first time this season when the Buffalo Sabres visit the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place on Monday. 

McDavid, who has been dealing with a flu, has six points (four goals, two assists) on a four-game point streak and has 18 points (eight goals, 10 assists) in his past 10 games. 

Eichel will play his third game since returning from an upper-body injury Jan. 11. He does not have a point in his past four games.

Goalie Carter Hutton will start for Buffalo, which has lost two straight and is 3-7-1 in its past 11 games. The Sabres are playing the first of a five-game road trip. 

Goalie Mikko Koskinen will start for the Oilers, who are 3-9-0 in their past 12 games after going 5-0-1 in their previous six. 


Players to watch

Buffalo Sabres forward Jeff Skinner has 30 goals in 45 games this season, two behind Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin for the NHL lead. 

Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl has 12 points (seven goals, five assists) in his past 10 games and is two goals from 100 in the NHL. 


They said it

"There are some positives we can take out of the last few games, obviously they're not the results we're looking for. For us coming out on the road, it's the start of a road trip we want to try and keep it simple pretty early and spend some time in the offensive end." -- Sabres forward Jeff Skinner


"We put ourselves in a position where our future is really in our own hands. We have the ability to make this a memorable [season], but we have to take control of it and you can't worry about anything else going on in the league, we just have to worry about our own game." -- Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse


Sabres projected lineup

Jeff Skinner -- Jack Eichel -- Sam Reinhart

Evan Rodrigues -- Vladimir Sobotka -- Tage Thompson

Conor Sheary -- Casey Mittelstadt -- Jason Pominville

Zemgus Girgensons -- Johan Larsson -- Kyle Okposo

Marco Scandella -- Rasmus Ristolainen

Rasmus Dahlin -- Jake McCabe

Nathan Beaulieu -- Zach Bogosian

Carter Hutton

Linus Ullmark

Scratched:  Lawrence Pilut, Matt Hunwick, Remi Elie

Injured: Casey Nelson (upper body)


Oilers projected lineup

Leon Draisaitl -- Connor McDavid -- Ty Rattie

Milan Lucic -- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins -- Alex Chiasson

Ryan Spooner -- Kyle Brodziak -- Jesse Puljujarvi

Tobias Rieder -- Jujhar Khaira -- Zack Kassian

Caleb Jones -- Adam Larsson

Darnell Nurse -- Kris Russell

Brandon Manning -- Matt Benning

Cam Talbot

Mikko Koskinen

Scratched: Joseph Gambardella , Kevin Gravel

Injured: Andrej Sekera (Achilles), Oscar Klefbom (hand), Alexander Petrovic (concussion), Kailer Yamamoto (upper body)


Status report

Beaulieu will be in the lineup after being a healthy scratch the past five games. … Manning will play his fourth game with the Oilers since he was acquired in a trade from the Chicago Blackhawks on Dec. 30. He has been a healthy scratch the past four games.


Stat pack

Reinhart has four points (two goals, two assists) in his past six games after having 22 points (five goals, 17 assists) in his previous 15 games. … Nugent-Hopkins has four assists in his past four games.

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