Buffalo Sabres Game Preview #4 – Canadiens 10/9/19

Sabres Lines:

Olofsson – Eichel – Reinhart

Skinner – Johansson – Sobotka

Vesey – Mittelstadt – Rodrigues

Girgensons – Larsson – Okposo

McCabe – Ristolainen

Dahlin – Miller

Scandella – Jokiharju


Canadiens Lines:

Tatar – Danault – Gallagher

Lehkonen – Domi – Suzuki

Drouin – Kotkaniemi – Armia

Byron – Thompson – Weal

Mete – Weber

Chiarot – Petry

Kulak – Fleury

Keith Kincaid


3 Things to watch:

#1 – Evan Rodrigues

With Conor Sheary being listed as Week to Week due to an upper body injury, Evan Rodrigues is getting the call after being a healthy scratch the first 3 games.  A surprising and unpopular scratch to start the season, Rodrigues will slot into the right side of the Mittelstadt line with a bit of a chip on his shoulder. 

The hope here is that Rodrigues carries on his solid play at both ends of the ice from last season so that Kreuger realizes sitting him over a guy like Sobotka is just a bad decision.  Giving Rodrigues a crack on the PK also would be refreshing with the PK killing off 7/10 powerplays thus far.

#2 – The 1st Period

After being soundly outplayed for the majority of the game against Columbus, it will be interesting to see how the Sabres come out early in the 1st at home where they last completely dominated the Devils for 60 minutes.

Though the volume of shots was low against the Blue Jackets, the quality was still considered good and is a good sign that this team will have a bounce back game that is more reminiscent of the first 2 played.

Drawing a penalty early on with the speed this team has shown will give the lethal powerplay an opportunity to get on the board and get the crowd going.

#3 – The Canadiens Penalty Kill

By a percentage, Montreal hasn’t been much better than Buffalo at killing penalties (6 of 8) and they will definitely have their work cut out for them in this one if the Habs cannot stay out of the box.

The 1st powerplay unit for Buffalo is dangerous no matter who has the puck and is expected to be tough to defend even if teams start to take away Olofsson’s shot.  Should Montreal commit to preventing Olofsson from shooting it will be up to Kincaid and company to keep Eichel and Dahlin off the score sheet.

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