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Sabres at Avalanche preview: O'Reilly, McGinn return to Colorado

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Two former members of the Avalanche face their old squad for the first time as the Sabres look to win three in a row.

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Game #47

Buffalo Sabres (19-23-4) at
Colorado Avalanche (23-21-3)

Puck Drop: 10:00 pm EST | Pepsi Center | Denver, CO
TV: MSG, Bell, ALT | Radio: WGR 550
SB Nation Avalanche Blog: Mile High Hockey

Three Questions

1. How will O'Reilly and McGinn perform in their return?

Ryan O'Reilly is in the middle of a career year, flourishing in a more prominent role both on and off the ice since being traded to Buffalo, while Jamie McGinn is proving himself to be a valuable piece in the Sabres middle-six during a contract season. Tonight's game might not have as much vehement hatred as we saw when Evander Kane returned to Winnipeg, but there will surely be some extra emotion by both teams to bring their best.

2. Speaking of former players, how will Grigorenko and Zadorov play tonight?

When the Avs traded O'Reilly and McGinn to Buffalo, it was all about sacrificing talent now for more talent in the future. Mikhail Grigorenko and Nikita Zadorov represent that future, but both must continue to iron out the inconsistencies in their game in order to make the trade worth it for the Avalanche.

3. Can the Sabres special teams remain hot?

Two power play goals and a perfect penalty kill were big reasons why the Sabres won their last game. They have just about the same special teams percentage numbers as Colorado does, but if they can stay hot on both units, it will help greatly in tonight's quest for a win.

Projected BUF lines

Kane - O'Reilly - Reinhart
Varone - Eichel - McGinn
Foligno - Larsson - Gionta
Moulson - Schaller - Legwand

Bogosian - Ristolainen
McCabe - Franson
Weber - Pysyk

Goal: Robin Lehner