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Game Thread: Oilers at Sabres - Game of the Year

If you're not tuning into this game then you must not love hockey

Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

The Buffalo Sabres are a bad hockey team. The ways in which they're terrible are almost too numerous to mention. They are 30th in goals for with 15, a total that wouldn't be too bad after a couple weeks, but 14 games into the season is almost unbelievably bad. They have averaged 21.7 shots per games, again dead last in the NHL and more than five shots fewer than the next worse team. And the fancy stats aren't friendly to the either; their Corsi% is 36.3 at five-on-five and they've been allowing 69 Corsi attempts against per 60 minutes. Yes, in every way imaginable the Sabres are a bad hockey team, and if they beat the Oilers in regulation tonight the Oilers will trail them in the standings.

How To Tune In

Sportsnet West at 5PM. Leave work early if you forgot to set your PVR, you're not going to want to miss a minute of this game.

What To Watch For From The Oilers

In the team's current four game losing streak goals have been tough to come by for the Oilers; six goals total and no more than two in any of the four games. Facing off against the Sabres tonight that offensive slump should come to an end. The Sabres have held their opponent to fewer than 30 shots just once this season (when they played the Hurricanes who also suck) and have three times allowed more than 40 shots. This is a team that gives up a lot of chances, you have to think that the Oilers can get the offence firing again, even if it's just for one night.

What To Watch For From The Sabres

Die By The Blade has three questions for tonight's game. I know one Edmonton reporter who would be giddy if the answer to the first question is yes.

1.) Can Drew Stafford continue to find the score sheet?

Stafford has three points in the last four games and scored the Sabres' lone goal on Wednesday night. He also averages more than a point per game against the Oilers in his career, nine points (7+2) in six career games.

Projected Lineups

Edmonton Oilers

Benoit Pouliot - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Jordan Eberle
Iiro Pakarinen - Mark Arcobello - David Perron
Teddy Purcell - Leon Draisaitl - Nail Yakupov
Matt Hendricks - Boyd Gordon - Jesse Joensuu

Nikita Nikitin - Justin Schultz
Martin Marincin - Mark Fayne
Keith Aulie - Jeff Petry

Ben Scrivens

Buffalo Sabres

Torrey Mitchell – Tyler Ennis – Chris Stewart
Matt Moulson – Zemgus Girgensons – Brian Gionta
Nicolas Deslauriers – Cody Hodgson – Drew Stafford
Johan Larsson – Cody McCormick – Brian Flynn

Josh Gorges – Tyler Myers
Andre Benoit – Rasmus Ristolainen
Nikita Zadorov – Andrej Meszaros

Michal Neuvirth

Final Thought