They will begin a three game road trip in Western Canada on Sunday night when they face off against the Edmonton Oilers. Buffalo will then travel to Calgary to face the Flames, and finish up in Vancouver taking on the Canucks. There is the potential to win a few games on this road trip if the Sabres can find a way to get some offense.
The Sabres will face-off against the Oilers on Sunday night, but there won’t be the anticipated Connor McDavid-Jack Eichel matchup since Eichel is out with a high ankle sprain. The Oilers are 2-0-0 after beating the Calgary Flames twice in three nights. McDavid has three goals and three assists for six points early on, while Leon Draisaitl has four points. Buffalo struggled in its opener against the Montreal Canadiens losing 4-1, and they couldn’t seem to get anything going in the offensive zone. The team also lost Evander Kane due to an injury after crashing into the boards.
If the Sabres want to get its first win of the season then they’ll need to keep McDavid in check and not allow him to get going offensively. They will need some players to step up on the offense, but it is expected that free agent signing, Kyle Okposo, will be able to play on Sunday. It would be his first game of the season since he missed the season opener with a knee contusion. They’ll need to get some sustained offensive zone pressure and get in on the forecheck. It would be good for the team if they could get the first goal, and not have to play from behind.
The Sabres will visit the Flames on Tuesday night. Calgary has struggled in the early going especially their goaltender, Brian Elliott. While the Flames have been able to score goals, they have struggled to keep the puck out of their own net. The Flames have been playing from behind so they’ve been taking a decent amount of penalties in the early going.
Buffalo needs to get a lot of shots on goal in this game to take advantage of the struggling Elliott. The Sabres forwards need to get in front of Elliott so he can’t track the puck. The team will need to put pressure on the Flames defense to force turnovers, which should lead to scoring chances. Buffalo will need to get the first goal to gain some confidence in the offensive end of the ice. The Sabres will need to be careful when on the power play because the Flames can score while shorthanded. If they play smart hockey then they can give themselves a chance to grab a win.
On Thursday night, Buffalo will visit Vancouver to take on the Canucks. The Canucks don’t have the best defense in the NHL, so the goalies will need to be good this season. They aren’t exactly the most balanced team either. If Buffalo can manage to stop the top line of the Sedin Twins and Loui Eriksson then they’ll have a good chance at winning the game. They’ll need to attack the defense and force turnovers. Buffalo also needs to make sure that they get traffic to the front of the net, and get in on the forecheck.