With the exhibition slate out of the way, the World Cup of Hockey officially begins Saturday in Toronto.
Sabres forward Jack Eichel will look to power the younger, skilled Team North America to the championship, while fellow Buffalo teammate Ryan O’Reilly, who was recently added to Team Canada, will try to capture the country’s second World Cup title.
"For the most part, I think as a group, we're not too worried about what everyone else is saying or thinking," Eichel said during media day. "I don't think anyone is counting on us to do well. But, we know the guys we have in the room and know what we're capable of and I think that's what is most important."
In a simulation on NHL 17, Team North America won the World Cup of Hockey powered by four goals from Eichel in the tournament. The Canadians finished second.
"With Canada, anytime you put on a jersey, we're expected to win, we're expected to be the best country at hockey," O'Reilly added. "You know with the pressure, if you can win with it, it's more enjoyable because a whole nation wins."
Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen (Finland) and Dmitry Kulikov (Russia) are also participating in this year's tournament.
Below is the schedule for preliminary round games at the World Cup of Hockey for Sabres players, with times and TV details.
Sept. 18: Team Sweden vs. Team Russia, 3 p.m., (ESPN)
Team North America vs. Team Finland, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
Sept. 19: Team Russia vs. Team North America, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
Sept. 20: Team Finland vs. Team Sweden, 3 p.m. (ESPN)
Sept. 21: Team North America vs. Team Sweden, 3 p.m. (ESPN)
Sept. 22: Team Finland vs. Team Russia, 3 p.m. (ESPN)
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