Buffalo Sabres Weekly Three Stars


Last week, the Buffalo Sabres went 0-3 against a trio of Western Conference opponents. The team is overall on a five-game losing skid and heads into the week ahead with just seven games left on the schedule for the 2014-2015 season.

The week began as the Sabres visited the Dallas Stars for an eventual 4-3 loss on Monday.

Next up was “the biggest game of the season” as the Arizona Coyotes visited First Niagara Center on Thursday. The Sabres took the ‘Yotes to overtime but ultimately fell 4-3 among what I could argue was the strangest atmosphere at a hockey game I’ve ever seen.

Finally, the Sabres visited the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday. Despite starting to rally back, the Sabres couldn’t finish the comeback and fell by a final score of 5-3.

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So — who were the top performers for the Buffalo Sabres last week, despite the fact that the team lost all three of its games?

1. Brian Gionta

Buffalo Sabres captain Brian Gionta stepped up last week, with four points in three games.

Gionta scored twice in Monday’s loss to Dallas and followed that up with another two-point performance against Arizona — this time a goal and an assist.

He also registered a team-high seven shots in each of the games on Monday and Thursday. Add to that four shots on goal Saturday for a total of 18 shots in three games for the Rochester native.

Gionta now has 26 points in 62 games this season, including seven power-play points.

2. Matt Moulson

Like Gionta, Matt Moulson also had points in two of three games last week.

Moulson potted a goal against the Stars and tallied an assist against the Coyotes.

Overall, he registered five shots on goal in three games and now has 38 points on the season, including 10 power-play points and two game-winning goals.

3. Tyler Ennis

Though he only played in two games last week, I’ll give third star honors to Tyler Ennis.

Ennis registered three points in two games last week, including a goal and assist against the Coyotes.

He also had nine shots on goal, including five against the Stars, and added one blocked shot and one hit.

Though his status going forward is questionable, there’s NO question that Ennis has been the Sabres’ best player this season. He leads the team with 42 points, including a team-high 19 goals and 15 power-play points this season. Moulson leads the team in assists (26).

Honorable Mention

This week, I’ll throw an honorable mention to goaltender Matt Hackett.

Hackett played Thursday’s game against Arizona and stopped 38 of 42 shots faced. I imagine that couldn’t have been an easy task, knowing the mindset of the fans heading into that game and essentially being expected to lose. Under pressure, he did his best.

He also went down in Thursday’s game after a collision to what appeared to be his knee, but after being tended to, he never left the ice and finished the game.

Hackett also made seven saves on 10 shots faced Saturday against the Avalanche when he came in to relieve Anders Lindback.

Heading into the week ahead, the Sabres play four games this week, beginning with Monday’s late-night bout with the Arizona Coyotes.

Following that, the Sabres return home to host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday (7:30 puck drop), then the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday.

Finally, the Sabres make their final trip to Nassau Coliseum on Saturday to face the Islanders.

Next: The Future of the Sabres' Defense

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