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Open Game Thread: Rangers vs Sabres

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Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

For the first team this season, the New York Rangers will head upstate to KeyBank Center to take on the Buffalo Sabres. After taking the first step back towards respectability last season, they have regressed back to a team reminiscent of their tanking days, as they currently sit last in the Atlantic Division, and 27th Overall in the NHL. But with Jack Eichel playing in his first home game of the season after notching two points in his season debut Tuesday night, look for Dan Bylsma to get his players amped up and ready to play in front of the Buffalo faithful. New York's lines are as follows:

Chris Kreider-Derek Stepan-Jesper Fast

Jimmy Vesey-Kevin Hayes-Rick Nash

Matt Puempel-J.T. Miller-Mats Zuccarello

Michael Grabner-Oscar Lindberg-Brandon Pirri

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Ryan McDonagh-Dan Girardi

Marc Staal-Nick Holden

Brady Skjei-Adam Clendening

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Henrik Lundqvist

Meanwhile, the Sabres will look to stifle New York's high-octane offense with these combinations:

William Carrier-Ryan O'Reilly-Kyle Okposo

Evander Kane-Jack Eichel-Sam Reinhart

Marcus Foligno-Johan Larsson-Brain Gionta

Matt Moulson-Derek Grant-Zemgus Girgensons

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Jake McCabe-Rasmus Ristolainen

Josh Gorges-Cody Franson

Taylor Fedun-Justin Falk

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Anders Nilsson

Player To Watch: As he prepares to go head to head against his right handed counterpart, look for Brady Skjei to make his presence known throughout the game. Skjei has been drawing numerous comparisons to Buffalo's towering "franchise" defenseman, so tonight will be a unique opportunity to compare the two of them live.

Prediction: Even without the Sabre Slayer available in net for the Rangers, Henrik Lundqvist isn't much of a slouch himself. New York will pull out a 4-1 victory on the back of a vintage performance from Lundqvist to spoil Jack Eichel's home debut for the season.

Enjoy the game!