Welcome to NHL On Tap. Three NHL.com writers will share what they are most looking forward to on the schedule each day. Today, their choices from the four games Friday.
Sabres try to stay sharp in Ullmark’s return
The Buffalo Sabres will seek their first 4-0-0 start since 2008-09 when they host the Boston Bruins (7 p.m. ET; ESPN+, HULU, NHL LIVE). After finishing last in the NHL last season with 37 points (15-34-7), the Sabres opened this season with home wins against the Montreal Canadiens, Arizona Coyotes, and Vancouver Canucks and have outscored opponents 11-4. The Bruins (1-1-0) will look to rebound from a 6-3 loss at the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday. Former Buffalo goalie Linus Ullmark is expected to make his first start for Boston. Ullmark played six seasons with the Sabres before signing a four-year contract with the Bruins on July 28. The 28-year-old went 9-6-3 with a 2.63 goals-against average and .917 save percentage in 20 starts with Buffalo last season. — Tom Gulitti, staff writer
Are the Stars shining?
The Dallas Stars were missing key players last season, including goalie Ben Bishop (knee surgery) and center Tyler Seguin (hip surgery), and missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs after reaching the Cup Final in 2020. So I want to see how the Stars look when they host the Los Angeles Kings (8:30 p.m. ET; ESPN+, HULU, NHL LIVE). Though Bishop has yet to play, Seguin has played four games but has yet to score a point. But I feel Seguin and the Stars (2-2-0) will find their groove soon. The Kings (1-2-0) have lost two straight, each by a goal, after defeating the Vegas Golden Knights in their season opener. — Tracey Myers, staff writer
McDavid, Oilers look to continue fast start
Connor McDavid will take his magic act to the Las Vegas Strip when the Edmonton Oilers visit the Vegas Golden Knights (10 p.m. ET; SN360, SN1, ATTSN-RM, ESPN+, NHL LIVE). The center scored three points (two goals, one assist) at the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday, including his 200th NHL goal, helping the Oilers win 5-1 and raise their record to 4-0-0. The three-time scoring champion leads the NHL in goals (six) and points (11). The Golden Knights (1-2-0) have lost two straight and will be without first-line forwards Mark Stone (lower body) and Max Pacioretty (foot). — Nicholas J. Cotsonika, columnist
San Jose Sharks at Toronto Maple Leafs (6 p.m. ET; TSN4, NBCSCA, ESPN+, NHL LIVE)
It’s the second half of a back-to-back for the Sharks, who defeated the Ottawa Senators 2-1 on Thursday to start the season 3-0-0 for the first time since 2015-16. Forward William Nylander leads the Maple Leafs (2-1-1) with four points (two goals, two assists) in four games.
Boston Bruins at Buffalo Sabres (7 p.m. ET; ESPN+, HULU, NHL LIVE)
Forward Zemgus Girgensons (two goals, two assists) and defenseman Colin Miller (four assists) lead the Sabres with four points each. Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy had his 100th regular-season assist on Tuesday in his 237th career NHL game. Among defensemen to debut with Boston, the only ones to accomplish the feat faster are Hall of Famers Ray Bourque (176 games) and Bobby Orr (180).
Los Angeles Kings at Dallas Stars (8:30 p.m. ET; ESPN+, HULU, NHL LIVE)
Three of the Stars’ first four games have been decided by one goal. Center Radek Faksa leads Dallas with four points (one goal, three assists). This is the second of a four-game road trip for the Kings. Center Anze Kopitar has begun the season with eight points (five goals, three assists) in a three-game point streak.
Edmonton Oilers at Vegas Golden Knights (10 p.m. ET; SN360, SN1, ATTSN-RM, ESPN+, NHL LIVE)
Goalie Mikko Koskinen, (2-0-0, 1.37 GAA, .959 save percentage) who made 27 saves against the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday, likely will start, coach Dave Tippett said. Oilers No. 1 goalie Mike Smith (lower body) is on injured reserve. Goalie Robin Lehner is 1-2-0 with a 3.41 GAA and .909 save percentage for the Golden Knights.