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Preview: Game 65 Oilers @ Sabres

After some trade deadline tinkering, the Oilers take their one game winning streak to Western New York

Tonight, Connor McDavid plays against the team who tried to tank for him in 2014-15
Tonight, Connor McDavid plays against the team who tried to tank for him in 2014-15
Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports



sabres logo
23-34-7, 53 points, .828 p/g Ranks 25-31-7, 57 points,  .905 p/g
Pacific Division - 7th Atlantic Division - 6th
30th P/G 27th
18th ST 10th
26th S/G 17th
26th Goal 16th
5:30 MDT
TV - Sportsnet West
Radio - 630 CHED
First Niagara Center
The opposing view:  Die By The Blade

Winless Streak Snapped

Edmonton's 0-5-2 winless streak came to a halt with a 3-1 victory over the Islanders on Sunday night.  Isles forward Casey Cizikas scored New York's lone goal midway through the second period, but the Oilers saved their best for the third where an absolute onslaught of offense (read;  three goals) was unleashed at Rexall Place.  Anton Lander scored his first goal of the season halfway through the third, while Leon Draisaitl got his sixteenth of the year less than a minute later.  Brandon Davidson found the net late in the third for his fourth of the year, and the Oilers took two points for the first time in eight games.

The Oilers take their one game winning streak to Western New York to face the Sabres.  A quick rundown of yesterday's deadline trades and acquisitions follows.

The Oilers are saying

"I know (Todd McLellan) is a coach that likes hard work and that's what I want to bring."


That's Oilers forward Adam Cracknell on coach Todd McLellan.  Also snapped up from the waiver wire:  Adam Pardy.  Please recall Pardy as the gentleman who had his helmet stolen by a drunk guy in Chicago one time.  Enjoy your seventeen game stay in Edmonton, gents.

The opponents are saying

"We played well but not good enough"   Source

That's Sabres forward Jack Eichel on his team's recent three game swing to the West Coast.  The Sabres were tight on defence, but were only able to score two goals on the entire trip in earning a 1-2-0 along the way.

Have some of this
  • Two names I absolutely, positively never want to hear again after this year are these two. Begone.
  • BIENVENUE A PATRICK MAROON - The Oilers actually acquired a real, live NHL player yesterday in exchange for Martin Gernat and a fourth round pick.  Patrick Maroon got the crushing news yesterday and if I had to guess, he'll be seeing some third line time in the not-too-distant future. Originally drafted by the Flyers in the third round of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, this is Maroon's third season as an NHL regular.  He's got thirteen points (4-9-13) in 56 games this season.  Oh, he's 6'3" and around 230.  I'm sure that has nothing to do with anything.
  • Benoit Pouliot is going to be out for a bit.  Pouliot sustained a shoulder injury in Edmonton's 3-1 over the Islanders on Sunday after a collision with Anders Lee.
  • The Oilers will likely send out Cam Talbot (13-22-4, .914 SV% / 2.65 GAA / 1 SO) between the pipes.  The Sabres are expected to go with Robin Lehner (4-7-2, .931 SV% / 2.32 GAA / 1 SO) to start.
  • LINE SWITCH - With a few new faces in Edmonton (and Benoit Pouliot out for the foreseeable future), is this the time where Nail Yakupov is reunited with Connor McDavid on line one?
  • Andrew Ference (hip), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (hand), Eric Gryba (knee), Benoit Pouliot (shoulder)  and Oscar Klefbom (leg), are out for the Oilers, The Sabres will be without Ryan O'Reilly (lower body), Cody Franson (neck), Tyler Ennis (concussion), Cody McCormick (leg) and Daniel Catenacci (upper body).
  • CLEARLY: Tonight is Connor McDavid's first game against the team who actively tanked last season in order to have the best chance at drafting him last year.  Clearly, whichever team wins tonight clearly drafted the better player.  Clearly.
  • TANKSPLOITATION -  It's been nearly one calendar year since Buffalo actively tanked their season in order to have the best chance to draft Connor McDavid.  They got Jack Eichel, who's a pretty darn good hockey player himself, but let's check in on Buffalo and see what's going on since then...