Puck drop: 7:00 p.m. EST | KeyBank Center | Buffalo, NY
TV: MSG, FS-O | Radio: WGR 550
SB Nation’s Blue Jackets Blog: The Cannon
How long will Eichel ’s point streak last? Will Eichel start a new point streak tonight?
RIP to our favorite preview question of the past week, as Eichel failed to register a point in last night’s 4-3 loss to Columbus. The last time Eichel went two games without a point was Jan. 31 and Feb. 2, then he went and scored 24 points in the next 18 games. Considering that watching #15 continue to develop into one of the game’s best offensive players is one of the biggest reasons to keep watching this season, let’s see him start another run tonight at the Key.
2. Can the Sabres shore up their defensive deficiencies for, like, one game?
Last night we saw yet another example of the Sabres defense (and forwards) leaving their goalie out to dry on multiple occasions. Look no further than the play where O’Reilly won the draw, Cody Franson failed three times to control the puck, and turned it over to Boone Jenner who was standing all alone in front of Lehner for the game winner. Just by the law of averages they should have one game this month where they accidentally have good defensive coverage, right?
3. Can Buffalo flip the script on special teams?
The Sabres penalty kill has been their Achilles Heel all season, and especially so during this losing streak. Last night, the Jackets went 2/3 on the power play, while the Sabres failed to score on their only chance with the man advantage. If the Sabres can capitalize on their top power play unit while limiting the Jackets own chances, they’ll have a much better chance to wrest control of the game away from one of the league’s best teams.
Projected Buffalo Lines
9 Evander Kane -- 90 Ryan O'Reilly -- 56 Justin Bailey
26 Matt Moulson -- 15 Jack Eichel -- 23 Sam Reinhart
82 Marcus Foligno -- 28 Zemgus Girgensons -- 12 Brian Gionta
44 Nic Deslauriers -- 71 Evan Rodrigues -- 63 Tyler Ennis
29 Jake McCabe -- 55 Rasmus Ristolainen
41 Justin Falk -- 47 Zach Bogosian
4 Josh Gorges -- 6 Cody Franson
Goal: 31 Anders Nilsson