Time: 1 p.m. ET
Venue: KeyBank Center, Buffalo, NY
Where to watch: NHL Network
Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks
DraftKings: Sabres -115, Coyotes -105
Coyotes: 0-1-0, 0 points
Sabres: 1-0-0, 2 points
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Coyotes - Sabres preview and analysis
Coyotes: lost 8-2 at Blue Jackets on Thursday
Sabres: won 5-1 vs. Canadiens on Thursday
Glad to know we’re getting this game out of the way now for the sole purpose of it not ruining our Saturday.
The Buffalo Sabres will host the Arizona Coyotes in what can only be considered as this season’s tank bowl, both for completely different reasons. One is respectable, the other is a massive cluster.
Arizona has brought a respectable approach to letting us know that the Coyotes will, in fact, be horrible this season. General manager Bill Armstrong traded captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson to Vancouver, along with 3 million other side deals to acquire 5 million draft picks, to ensure the future is somewhat bright.
The present, however, is horrible. The Coyotes lost their season opener 8-2 to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday, another team that is likely plummeting to Earth after trading away centerpieces Seth Jones and Cam Atkinson this offseason.
But good lord at least Columbus doesn’t have it as bad as the bottom feeders off the Western Conference. Carter Hutton played the entire game and allowed all eight goals at Columbus
"I don't think the score reflected the game," new Coyotes coach Andre Tourigny said. "We had breakdowns defensively, yes. At some point we got emotional and got off our game but if you look at the way we played it's a better thing than the score showed."
Nothing like trying to remain positive at the start of the season in the National Hockey League to understand that your team is going to be hot garbage for the next game, and the game after that.
All NHL teams realize this group is going to be bad. There’s no one who can score, the defense is in shambles beyond Jakob Chychrun, and you somehow lost the Taylor Hall trade to the team you’re facing this weekend … it’s all bad in Arizona.
But things aren’t rosy in Buffalo either, despite dominating in a four-goal win over the Montreal Canadiens in their season opener. The era of not having Jack Eichel on the ice in Buffalo is well underway and it’s not going to be this great. For as great as it is to see Craig Anderson starting this late into his career, that 1.00 GAA will not last.
Zemgus Girgensons did provide a feel-good moment with two points in his first game since March 9, 2020. The center missed all of last season due to hamstring surgery.
"I know I didn't play without fans, but the excitement. I was very excited. I usually nap, so it was hard to nap today,” he said. “You know, you kept thinking about the game. I was kind of like a kid again going to hockey practice."
In an unusual sense of the lesser of two evils, Buffalo fans are about to celebrate like they’re winning the Stanley Cup. Two teams that aren’t making the playoffs, but the Coyotes might just be the worst team of all time. Sabres win 5-1
The Coyotes are 26-16 (+12.6 net games on the money line) over the last three seasons after allowing four goals or more in their previous game.
The Sabres are 2-13 the last three seasons after a win by two goals or more by a division rival.
Buffalo is also 1-5 in its last six after a win by four goals or more.
Antoine Roussel -- Jay Beagle -- Dmitrij Jaskin
Lawson Crouse -- Nick Schmaltz -- Clayton Keller
Andrew Ladd -- Christian Fischer -- Phil Kessel
Ryan Dzingel -- Johan Larsson -- Loui Eriksson
Jakob Chychrun -- Connor Timmins
Shayne Gostisbehere -- Anton Stralman
Ilya Lyubushkin -- Victor Soderstrom
Jeff Skinner -- Casey Mittelstadt -- Vinnie Hinostroza
Rasmus Asplund -- Tage Thompson -- Victor Olofsson
Zemgus Girgensons -- Cody Eakin -- Kyle Okposo
Anders Bjork -- Dylan Cozens -- Drake Caggiula
Rasmus Dahlin -- Henri Jokiharju
Robert Hagg -- Mark Pysyk
Jacob Bryson -- Colin Miller
Points: Anton Stralman -- 1
Goals: Anton Stralman -- 1
Assists: Johan Larsson -- 1
TOI: Jakob Chychrun -- 23:19
Goalie: Carter Hutton -- 0-1-0, 8.04 GAA, .692 save percentage
Points: Five tied -- 2
Goals: Zemgus Girgensons -- 2
Assists: Three tied -- 2
TOI: Colin Miller -- 20:28
Goalie: Craig Anderson -- 1-0-0, 1.00 GAA, .968 save percentage
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