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GAME PREVIEW: Edmonton Oilers @ Buffalo Sabres

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Oilers look to make it three in a row with visit to Buffalo

NHL: Buffalo Sabres at Edmonton Oilers Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Edmonton Oilers (27-30-7) (5th, Pacific)

Buffalo Sabres (30-27-8) (5th, Atlantic)

5:00 PM MST

Key Bank Center

TV: Sportsnet One

Radio: 630 CHED

SB Nation Opponent: Die By The Blade

The Oilers are winners of two in a row. Can they keep their long-shot playoff odds alive with a win against the Sabres?

Lets go to the tape.

The Oilers are saying

It was another good team performance. You don’t have the best players in the League to be successful. You need to be the best team and that’s what we’re proven night in and night out. We’ve got a [heck] of a team going right now and we’re not going to let go of the rope. This group is very tight and cohesive right now and we want to keep it going

Source

That’s Oilers coach Ken Hitchcock after his club’s 4-0 win over the Colulmbus Blue Jackets on Saturday.

Things are good when you defeat a team that’s “loaded up” for the playoffs. Leon has 40 goals on the season, Mikko Koskinen has four shutouts. The Oilers are going to have to have similar results for a dozen more games down the stretch if they’ve got playoff aspirations.

The Sabres are saying

They’re a good team, good rivalry, for sure. I’ve been fortunate to be on the good side of things for a while. But we got to find a way to get that hate a little bit more, especially at home. We got to find a way to win a game against this team

Source

That’s Sabres forward Jason Pominville after his club’s 5-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night.

The Sabres had a ten game win streak this season, things went off the rails afterwards. What doesn’t get enough ink is that in those ten games, the Sabres won by one goal (or in a shootout) nine out of ten times. What do we know about one goal games?

HAVE SOME OF THIS

  • The Oilers have a two game win streak right now. That’s good! The Oilers are going to need at least twelve wins over the remainder of the season in order to stay relevant. If you’re scoreboard watching, the rest of the league won on Saturday night. That’s bad.
  • SOME NUMBERS: Both the Sabres (23rd in goals per game) and Oilers (24th) have struggled to put the puck in the net this year. Coincidentally, the Sabres are also 23rd in goals allowed (3.15 GA/G) while the Oilers are 24th (3.25 GA/G)
  • MORE NUMBERS: Leon has 40 goals on the season. If things keep going the way they’ve been, 50 goals is more likely than not. Speaking of numbers, now seems a good enough time as any to remind you that McDavid has 90 points on the year. Just another day.
  • NET GAINS: Mikko Koskinen is a likely a go tonight for the Oilers (18-15-4, .911 SV% / 2.76 GAA / 4 SO). Linus Ulmark (14-9-4, .909 SV% / 3.06 GAA / 2 SO) will go for the Sabres.
  • SICK BAY: Jesse Puljujarvi (hip) and Jujhar Khaira (undisclosed) are out for the Oilers. The Sabres are without defenceman Jake McCabe (upper body). Vladimir Sobotka (upper body) is day-to-day.