The Buffalo Sabres will face the Boston Bruins in their preseason home-opener, and they have their A Group skating onto the ice tonight.
The Buffalo Sabres preseason continues tonight at KeyBank Center vs. their rivals, the Boston Bruins. Buffalo is looking to build on their 4-3 shootout win over the Washington Capitals, but this time, they got the A Group ready to go, along with a few prospects like Zach Benson, Isak Rosen, and Filip Cederqvist.
Since this is the home-opener for the preseason, let’s make a few bold predictions on how this one will play out. One projection below is rather comical, while another has been a trend so far this preseason. Prediction #3 is truly bold, but anything can happen between now and the regular season opener next month.
3 bold predictions for Buffalo Sabres vs. Bruins
1 – Jeff Skinner agitates someone within his first three shifts
No, that’s not a typo – Jeff Skinner will make his presence known on the ice, and he might just score a point or two in the contest. But that’s not what’s going to make Skinner’s game interesting tonight.
Instead, expect him to agitate at least one member of the Bruins, which should begin sometime within his first three shifts. And yep, after a brief share of greetings, you will catch a clip of Skinner laughing on the bench.
2 – Zach Benson once again shows he belongs
Zach Benson followed up a solid showing at the Prospects Challenge with an outstanding outing against the Washington Capitals. Sure, he definitely needs to put more size and strength on, but you can’t deny his nose for the puck and his fearlessness.
Benson has also built sound chemistry with Buffalo Sabres teammates in camp and during real-game scenarios, showing us that he can at least hold his own in NHL preseason contests. I thought a drop-off was in the works when the time came to play against men, but so far, there is little reason to doubt Benson.
3 – Kale Clague forces his way into the conversation
Kale Clague got the nod on Sunday and he’s getting it again tonight, which could signify that he’s in the running to at least latch onto the Sabres big club. Clague, on a two-way deal, is often the forgotten man given the number of defensemen on one-way contracts, even following the Ilya Lyubushkin trade.
Clague played a rather boring game on Sunday, but that’s not a bad thing on the blue line! He also blocked three shots, which was second on the team next to Ryan Johnson’s team-high of five. This isn’t to say Clague doesn’t have an uphill battle. But this is his chance to show that he’s a better option than Jacob Bryson or Riley Stillman. And tonight, he will take advantage of that opportunity, outshining Stillman, who is also slated to go.
(Statistics provided by Natural Stat Trick)