Jan 18, 2014; Buffalo, NY, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets center Brandon Dubinsky (17) looks to get the puck from Buffalo Sabres defenseman Christian Ehrhoff (10) during the third period at First Niagara Center. Columbus beats Buffalo 4 to 3 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Buffalo Sabres - Columbus Blue Jackets: Fan Picks!

Things are getting interesting around Sabre Noise, everyone!

With a win Thursday night, wolfdoctor becomes the first person to win bragging rights three times in our friendly fan picks competition.  I’d love to tell you whether wolfie is in the overall lead, but as of right now a busy schedule and a nagging back injury have kept me away from a computer for long stretches at a time.  I still have two games to tally up before I will have current points standings, but check back in with me tonight – my back is feeling good, so maybe I will have a complete picture to share with you all before game time!

Trust me, though: the free t-shirt that I am willing to hand out to the eventual winner is still up for grabs!  Even if you haven’t gotten involved in the fun yet, there are lots of points up for grabs every night, so no one is comfortable yet.  I have actually beefed up the nightly scoring, so there’s more points than ever tonight, so let’s get started!

This is the third and final meeting between the Buffalo Sabres and the Columbus Blue Jackets, and if you have been attention lately, these two teams are headed in completely opposite directions.  The Blue Jackets have won eight straight games, while the Sabres have dropped five in a row.  The worst part about the Sabres’ current losing streak is they have finally developed some consistency on offense, having scored 3 goals in each and every one of those five consecutive losses.

The last time these two teams played, the Blue Jackets won 4-3 in a shootout.  Perhaps the Sabres can flip the script tonight?  We’ll see.

Questions to consider:

1. I’m setting tonight’s over/under at 6.5.  Will the two teams combine to score more, or less?

2. Pick any five players (mix and match from each team).  I’ll give you 10 points if one of your players scores the first goal, and 5 points for any player who scores in the game.  (Note: you will only get 10 for first goal, not 10+5, and a player who scores twice only gets 5 points, since it’s not points per goal).

3. Predict how many shots on goal the Sabres take tonight.  +7 points for closest pick, +5 for second closest.

4. Final score, and who wins?  +4 for picking winning team, +5 for being closest to final combined score.

5. Steve Ott has eight points in his last 11 games against Columbus.  Linus Omark has six points in five career games against the team.  Tyler Ennis eight points in his last 8 games, and six points in four career games against Columbus.  Finally, Cody Hodgson has earned points in five of the last six games he has played since coming off IR.  Of these four, who gets the most, and second-most, points tonight?    +6 for picking who gets the most; +4 for picking who gets the second-most, and +11 for picking BOTH.

Got all of that?  Let’s get started!

Tags: Buffalo Sabres

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