Buffalo Sabres vs. Edmonton Oilers Pick & Prediction MARCH 9th 2024

The Edmonton Oilers will look to get back in the win column when they travel to Buffalo to battle the Sabres in the first of two meetings between the clubs this month.

Edmonton’s five-game win streak was snapped in a 4-2 loss in Columbus on Thursday night. The Oilers fell behind 3-0 after 20 minutes and after battling to within a goal, couldn’t find the equalizer against the Blue Jackets.

“I think we weren’t ready to play,” Oilers coach Kris Knoblauch said. “Our puck management, maybe our decision-making and our execution weren’t there.”

Forward Zach Hyman scored his team-leading 43rd goal in the loss and has 11 goals in 10 games. Captain Connor McDavid extended his point streak to 13 games (two goals, 27 assists) and reached the 100-point mark for the fourth consecutive season with an assist.

“We know if we’re going to be successful in the playoffs, it’s not going to be playing catch-up hockey,” Oilers forward Warren Foegele said. “That starts with being clean and executing plays and playing responsible.”

Edmonton, second in the Pacific Division, is 18-13-0 on the road this season and has points in eight of its last 11 games.

Goaltender Stuart Skinner is 29-13-2 with a 2.60 goals-against average and a .906 save percentage in 45 games this season. In three career games against the Sabres, Skinner is 1-2-0 with a .906 save percentage and a 2.73 GAA.

Edmonton forwards Adam Henrique and Sam Carrick, who were acquired from the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday, made their Oilers debut on Thursday.

On Thursday, the Oilers acquired defenseman Troy Stecher from the Arizona Coyotes.

Newly acquired Sabres defenseman Bowen Byram had a goal and an assist in his Buffalo debut on Thursday — a 4-2 loss to the Nashville Predators.

“It was nice to get it out of the way,” Byram said of getting on the scoresheet. “Obviously, not the way you want your first game with a new team to end, but that’s the way it goes. We’ll head back to Buffalo now. I’ll try to get my life somewhat sorted and get ready to play again.”

On Friday, the Sabres sent veteran forward Kyle Okposo to the Florida Panthers in exchange for defenseman Calle Sjalin and a conditional seventh-round pick in the 2024 NHL Draft.

Buffalo, sixth in the Atlantic Division, enters Saturday’s matinee having lost three in a row. The Sabres are 14-17-1 on home ice this season and open a three-game homestand against the Oilers.

Forward Jeff Skinner has a goal and three assists in his last four games, while center Dylan Cozens has two tallies in his last four.

Netminder Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen is 19-16-3 this season with a 2.44 GAA and a .914 save percentage.

Saturday is the first of two meetings between the two clubs — Buffalo travels to Edmonton for the second and final game of the season series on March 21.

–Field Level Media

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