The Sabres look for their first win against the Rangers

Vladimir Sobotka won't play, while Remi Elie makes his Sabres debut

Paul Hamilton
October 06, 2018 - 12:17 pm

Photo: Timothy T. Ludwig - USA TODAY Sports

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Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) - The Sabres couldn’t have played much worse in their opener, losing to Boston 4-0. Buffalo gets another chance as the Rangers come to town. New York lost its first game, 3-2 to Nashville.

Jack Eichel was minus-2 in the first game and he didn’t like the way he played against the Bruins, “I wasn’t too happy with my game, maybe I was thinking a little too much, trying to force things.

“I just want to come out in the first period and try to attack their defensemen and put them on their heels and try to get pucks to the net. I think that’s what usually sparks my game.”

Vladimir Sobotka is still day-to-day and, despite skating, won’t play. Remi Elie will play his first game as a Sabre.

In the preseason, Zemgus Girgensons played a game on the left wing with Casey Mittelstadt. Phil Housley said he will again tonight. Conor Sheary will remain on Eichel’s left wing.

The young core of this team has never had a lot of respect for the crest on the jersey and the history of the Sabres. Housley is changing that with pictures of Sabre greats over the player’s lockers. Eichel said he really likes that and has learned to appreciate the past, “I think it’s pretty cool. You’re able to meet some of the Sabre greats that paved the way who have written the history of this franchise, the pride they took in wearing the uniform and you see them still around and the pride that they take in being part of this organization and city, so I think he’s trying to instill that in us and what it means to be a Buffalo Sabre, so we should take pride in putting this jersey on every time we do it and it should mean a lot.”

The new coach of the Rangers is former BU head coach David Quinn. He was Jack Eichel’s coach in college and Eichel has a lot of respect for him, “He’s a friend to me, he’s a mentor, he’s been pretty close to be even through my first few years in the NHL and he was so good to me at BU.

“I think he’ll do great and he can win all the games he wants except when he plays us. It’s awesome he’s getting this opportunity, but he’s not getting his first win tonight.”

Carter Hutton gets the call in net. He’s 0-1-0 with a 3.27 goals against and .880 save percentage. Hutton is 3-0-0 against New York with a 1.45 goals against and .953 save percentage.

Kyle Okposo has 20 points in his last 17 games against the Rangers.

The Sabres are 2-5-3 in their last 10 games at home against the Rangers. The Rangers did not play in Buffalo last season because of the Winter Classic. They will play in Buffalo twice this season.

The Rangers have won 13 of their last 16 games against the Sabres.

The team did not have a morning skate, but did have morning meetings.

I’ll be joining Brian Koziol at 6:00 for a Sabres roundtable to kick off the pregame. Brian will also be joined by Phil Housley and Patrik Berglund.

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