Buffalo Sabres: 3 Key Players vs. New Jersey Devils

After waiting all summer long, it’s time for the Buffalo Sabres home opener!

What better way to start the year off at the KeyBank Center, than against the New Jersey Devils who the Sabres have a deep history with.

Looking at the Devils team, they have some star power with Taylor Hall and the addition of PK Subban. 

But this isn’t a very deep Devils team. The 2nd and 4th line for New Jersey is ranked well below the league average. Same can be said for their 2nd and 3rd defensive lines.

If Buffalo can show up for 60 minutes tonight, I see no reason why the Sabres won’t win.

Here are 3 players that will be critical to a Sabre victory.

#1: Carter Hutton

On opening night Carter Hutton played very well. Our defense did a good job of keeping the pressure away from Hutton, but when it did get to him he played well.

We cannot expect it to be that way every night however. Look for the Devils strong first line to put some pressure on Hutton. If Hutton can hold New Jersey to 2 or less goals, that’ll be a big key for a Sabre Win.

#2: Jack Eichel

I haven’t talked a lot about Jack Eichel this year, but he will be crucial in this game. In game #1 he had some nice passes but was mostly a non factor.

That cannot be the case tonight if Buffalo wants to beat New Jersey. Eichel has to create offense against that stout Devils first defensive line featuring PK Subban.

If Eichel can do that, he’ll put the Sabres in an excellent position to win.

#3: Rasmus Ristolainen

In game #1, if I didn’t tell you Rasmus was still on the team you may have forgotten. Rasmus was a non factor in game #1 against Pittsburgh.

Tonight he will need to play better, we need Rasmus to be solid on the defensive end when called upon.

If Rasmus and the Sabres 2nd defensive line can play well, expect a good result on the scoreboard.