The Buffalo Sabres and the Montreal Canadiens will open their regular seasons on Thursday night in a head-to-head contest. However, the game's star power might be a little bit lacking following recent news involving key players on both teams.

Jack Eichel injured his leftankle

NHL.com reported early on Wednesday that"Jack Eichel had to be helped off the ice after injuring his left ankle during practice at KeyBank Center on Wednesday." There isn't any word yet on whether he will play on Thursday against the Canadiens, however you'd have to think that the Sabres would not be taking any chances with their young star.

Eichel's future is considered to be exceptionally bright in the NHL. Last season he was a very resilient player as he appeared in 81 of a possible 82 games. In those outings he averaged .691 points per game. More recently he played in three games at the World Cup of Hockey, scoring one goal and tallying an assist for Team North America.

Also on Wednesdaymorningthe Montreal Canadiens' verified Twitter accountannounced that goaltender Carey Price would not be playing in the same game. The goaltender missed a huge chunk of last season injured. However it's the flu that will keep him out of the lineup on Thursday.

A follow-up tweet about an hour after the one posted above mentioned that it was "possible" that Price would "join the team in Ottawa" but that it was "depending on his health." The Ottawa game will be played on Saturday night(7pm ET).

Sidney Crosby's playing status not clear

The news regarding Eichel and Price follows similarly bad news regarding Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins. The star center for the defending Stanley Cup champions has unknown playing status for his team's upcoming game against the Washington Capitals. Crosby has been following concussion protocol of late after sustaining one on Friday.

The Washington/Pittsburgh game, which is scheduled for Thursday, appeared to be the NHL's 'main event' among the opening slate of games. The game features two of the favorites to win the 2017 Stanley Cup, two teams that met in a key playoff series last season that the Penguins won. However, if Crosby isn't in the lineup then it won't quite be the same.

On Wednesday a game that promises to attract a lot of attention is the Battle of Alberta. Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers will host the Calgary Flames tonight. It will be the first regular-season game played in Edmonton's new building, known as Rogers Place.

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