Game Preview: Blue Jackets Need to Keep Scoring Up Against the Upstart Buffalo Sabres

By Paul Berthelot on October 27, 2018 at 7:05 am
Anthony Duclair in pre-season action against the Buffalo Sabres

Aaron Doster – USA TODAY Sports

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The Blue Jackets have yet to play two good games in a row. It seems like every strong performance is followed up by a clunker. They will try and reverse that tonight as they face a young and hungry Buffalo Sabres team at Nationwide Arena.

Home has not been a comforting place for the Blue Jackets. They've stumbled to a 2-3-0 mark at home to start the season, including a couple bad losses to Chicago and Arizona in their two most recent games before the win in St. Louis.

Buffalo comes into this game with a 6-4-0 record and are looking to finally make a push in the Atlantic Division and the Eastern Conference.

Joonas Korpisalo played well in that win over St. Louis and we'll have to await who John Tortorella tabs to start this game tonight.

PROJECTED LINES

Panarin – Dubois – Atkinson

Duclair – Wennberg – Bjorkstrand

Foligno – Jenner – Anderson

Sedlak – Nash – Hannikainen/Milano

DEFENSEMEN

Werenski – Jones

Murray – Nutivaara

Harrington – Savard

GOALTENDER

TBD

Storylines

  • Old Faces, New Places: The Sabres made a couple big trades this off-season, bringing in two players Columbus should be very familiar with in Jeff Skinner and Conor Sheary. Skinner with the Carolina Hurricanes and Sheary with the Penguins were very good when they played the Jackets: Skinner had 17 points in 23 games, while Sheary did his damage in the playoffs, where he had two points in five games against Columbus. 
  • Rasmus Dahlin and Casey Mittelstadt: Buffalo has two of the top prospects currently in the NHL in Rasmus Dahlin and Casey Mittelstadt. They should be in the Calder conversation all season and are the hope for the Sabres future. Through nine games Dahlin has a goal and two assists – not a bad start for the 18-year-old. Mittelstadt has had a slower start with just a single assist in nine games, but he is a highly skilled player and it won’t be long before he starts to light up the league.
  • Don’t forget about Eichel: The Sabres have plenty of new players but you can’t forget about their current superstar and captain Jack Eichel. He has been playing well to start the year, cruising along at a point-per-game clip. He's a dangerous player and should see a heavy diet of Seth Jones as the Jackets do what they can to shut him down.

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