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Sabres vs. Oilers preview: McDavid vs. Eichel, Round 1

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The first of hopefully many battles between the #1 and #2 overall picks in this year's draft happens tonight in Buffalo.

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Game #64

Buffalo Sabres (25-31-7) vs.
Edmonton Oilers (23-34-7)

Puck Drop: 7:30 pm EST | First Niagara Center | Buffalo, NY
TV: MSG, SNW, NHL.TV | Radio: WGR 550
SB Nation Oilers Blog: The Copper & Blue

Three Questions

1. Who comes out on top in their first battle - Eichel, or McDavid?

Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel are forever linked, thanks to the hysteria around their draft year and the fact that these two generational talents were picked #1 and #2 overall. Since McDavid was injured when these two teams met earlier this season, tonight is the first battle between them head-to-head. One game does not a career define, but who strikes first in the eternal McEichel debate?

2. Will the Sabres be able to score without O'Reilly and McGinn?

Two of Buffalo's top five scorers are out of the lineup, one due to injury and one due to Anaheim. Replacing them tonight will be Cal O'Reilly and Dan Catenacci, both of whom offer little hope for goals (Justin Bailey was sent down to Rochester today). The Sabres do have some hope, as the Oilers have the worst goal differential in the league, but Buffalo will need either their young stars to step up or some secondary scoring to find its way home.

3. Which awful thing will be least awful - the Sabres terrible home record, or the Oilers abysmal road record?

Edmonton is starting a four game road trip with a league-worst 7-20-5 record away from home. The Sabres are starting a three game homestand with the second-worst home record at 11-17-3. In what has become a consistent story line in Buffalo over the past few seasons, tune in tonight to see who can be the least worst team!

Projected BUF lines

Kane - Eichel - Reinhart
Foligno - Larsson - Gionta
Catenacci - C. O'Reilly - Girgensons
Deslauriers - Legwand - Moulson

Gorges - Ristolainen
McCabe - Bogosian
Colaiacovo - Pysyk

Goal: Robin Lehner