BY: DAVID KOLB
EDMONTON OILERS (14-10-3) @ BUFFALO SABRES (9-10-6)
ONE & TWO
Tonight the Sabres and Oilers meet for the second time this season. The game will feature the NHL’s first and second overall picks in the 2015 draft, Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel. Without Eichel in the lineup, the Sabres took the first contest of this season series, 6-2 on Oct. 16, as McDavid was limited by the Sabres to one shot and no points.
Injuries continue to impede the progress for the Sabres. Defensemen Zach Bogosian (knee), Dmitry Kulikov (back), Josh Gorges (foot) and Taylor Fedun (shoulder) have all been out of the lineup, making way for prospects like Erik Bergdorger, who played in his first NHL game against the Capitals last night after getting called up from the AHL’s Rochester Americans. The Sabres have now used 11 different defensemen this season.
McDavid has been sensational this season, clearly avoiding the dreaded sophomore slump. In 27 games, the Oilers’ captain leads the NHL in scoring with 34 points (11 goals, 23 assists), however, he enters tonight’s game after going two games without points.
OKPOSO PACING OFFENSE
Kyle Okposo scored last night against Washington, giving him five points (two goals, three assists) in his past five games. In his first season in Buffalo, Okposo has turned into a worthwhile investment, as he has accumulated eight goals and nine assists for 17 points though 24 games.
22-year-old defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen continued his stellar play for the Sabres Monday, as he picked up his 13th assist of the season. The backliner from Turku, Finland has four assists in his past five games and is logging over 26-minutes of ice per game, including an incredible 29:51 last night.