Buffalo Sabres (0-0-0) vs. Montreal Canadiens (0-0-0)
Puck drop: 7:00 p.m. EST | Key Bank Center | Buffalo, NY
Radio: WGR 550
SB Nation Canadiens blog: Eyes on the Prize
What to Watch
1. Can the Sabres win a season opener?
The last time the Sabres won the first game of their season you have to go all the way back to the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season. They defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 5-2 on January 20th, 2013. Last season Montreal came into Buffalo and handed the club a 4-1 loss to a noticeably deflated Sabres team. We’ll see if they can flip the script on the Habs this season.
2. New and Improved Defense
The Sabres will debut their revamped defense group tonight. With Josh Gorges likely scratched only two players from last season’s team will dress on the blue line tonight. Marco Scandella, Victor Antipin, Matt Tennyson and Nathan Beaulieu are all expected to make their regular season Sabres debuts tonight. We’ll get a look at just how improved the defense is.
3. Can Jack Eichel keep up?
On the first night of the regular season, we saw two of the young stars in the league have big nights. Connor McDavid recorded a hat-trick in the Edmonton Oilers win over the Calgary Flames. While Auston Matthews recorded three points in the Toronto Maple Leafs 7-2 blow out of the Winnipeg Jets. Now, it’s Eichel’s turn to see if he can match their pace tonight. With a brand new contract and missing the opener last season, the 20-year-old star should be at the top of his game.
9 Evander Kane - 15 Jack Eichel - 29 Jason Pominville
67 Benoit Pouliot - 90 Ryan O’Reilly - 21 Kyle Okposo
28 Zemgus Girgensons - 23 Sam Reinhart - 25 Seth Griffith
22 Johan Larsson - 10 Jacob Josefson - 17 Jordan Nolan
55 Rasmus Ristolainen - 82 Nathan Beaulieu
6 Marco Scandella - 5 Matt Tennyson
19 Jake McCabe - 93 Victor Antipin
Starting Goaltender: Robin Lehner