EDMONTON, Alberta – The leading scorers for the Sabres and Oilers are Jack Eichel and Connor McDavid, respectively. It's not surprising to see them together. They've been linked since preparing to go in the top two of the 2015 NHL Draft.
Also not surprising is Eichel continues to downplay talk of a rivalry.
"I don't really know how many comparisons have continued to be made here," Eichel said. "It's two guys in two different situations. It's tough to make comparisons. I'm pretty sure he swept the entire NHL awards last year.
"I'm just trying to do my thing and become the best player I can be. Comparisons are made by you guys, and I kind of just do my best every day to become a good hockey player."
Eichel entered the meeting in Rogers Place on Tuesday with a six-game point streak, recording four goals and 10 points during the run. Going back further, Eichel had 11 goals and 21 points in his last 15 games. He was on pace for 33 goals and 79 points.
McDavid had a four-game point streak, putting up a goal and five assists. The center ranked 10th in the NHL with 53 points on 15 goals and 38 assists. He was tied for second in the NHL in even-strength points with 39. Eichel was tied for ninth with 34.
The problem for both is their teams have struggled and are out of the playoff race.
"When you go through tough times like this, you really find out a lot about yourself," Sabres coach Phil Housley said. "I think Jack has done a great job going back maybe 20, 25 games where he made a decision about coming to play and playing the right way and playing at both ends of the ice. He's been terrific.
"As a result, he's been on the penalty kill, and you can see his point production and just his creativity in the scoring-chance area has been really solid for us."