EDMONTON - The Buffalo Sabres will look to extend their point streak to five games on Sunday evening when they take on the Edmonton Oilers at Rexall Place, their last regular-season game in the Oilers’ home since 1974.
Chad Johnson will make his second start in a row in net for the Sabres, while the rest of the lineup will remain the same from their 5-2 win over Arizona on Friday night. With that victory, the Sabres scored four or more goals in four-straight games for the first time since they did it in five straight from Feb. 20 to March 2, 2007.
Buffalo will face an Edmonton team that has won two-straight games, including a 2-1 overtime win over Dallas on Friday night. The Oilers are led by 24-year-old forward Taylor Hall, who leads the team in scoring with 26 points (10G+16A).
Hall is joined by talented young forwards in centermen Leon Draisaitl (8+11) and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (6+11) that make Edmonton’s top-two lines a constant threat.
“A big factor is how we play with the puck,” Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said. “We can’t give up chances or trade chances or get in a game where we’re running up and down the ice playing that speed game.
“I think if you’re playing a team with speed and skill, you want to play a stationary game. Get it in the offensive zone, keep it there and that’s where you want to play the whole game.”
The Sabres top line, meanwhile, will look to continue its own recent production. Evander Kane has scored two goals in consecutive games as his line with Ryan O’Reilly and Sam Reinhart has clicked in a big way.
“These guys, both of them are playing outstanding,” O’Reilly said of Kane and Reinhart. “Kane with his speed and the way he’s been shooting the puck and getting to the net, creating life for us, and Sam does everything right. He’s always around the puck, he’s got a great shot and he’s just smart.
“It’s great right now, I think a lot of times in games my linemates and myself, we’ve worked to try to get that spark to initiate it and get that life that we need as a team.”
Coverage begins at 7:30 p.m. with Tops Sabres Gamenight on MSG-B. The game can also be heard live on WGR 550 with puck drop set for 8 p.m.
9 Evander Kane – 90 Ryan O’Reilly – 23 Sam Reinhart
88 Jamie McGinn – 15 Jack Eichel – 12 Brian Gionta
22 Johan Larsson – 28 Zemgus Girgensons – 26 Matt Moulson
44 Nicolas Deslauriers – 17 David Legwand – 82 Marcus Foligno
4 Josh Gorges – 55 Rasmus Ristolainen
25 Carlo Colaiacovo – 47 Zach Bogosian
29 Jake McCabe – 46 Cody Franson
31 Chad Johnson
35 Linus Ullmark