The Buffalo Sabres defeated the Dallas Stars 4-0 to move to 5-0-1 on the season.
The Buffalo Sabres are off to a scorching hot start this season. In a game against a mediocre Dallas Stars team, the Sabres took care of business on their home ice.
I know it’s early, but one thing to really take note of early in the season is this Sabres teams ability to take care of inferior opponents. That’s something that all really good hockey teams do. Up to this point the Sabres have only played two truly inferior opponents (the Devils and the Stars), but in both instances, the Sabres left no doubt who was the better hockey team.
In this game against the Stars, we saw a very defensive battle early. Both teams succeeded in keeping the other out of their zone. In the first period, Buffalo attempted just 6 shots on goal while Dallas could only manage 5.
Through 6 games, the Sabres have been impressive defensively. The Sabres boast multiple young, talented defenders such as Rasmus Dahlin, Henri Jokijarju and Colin Miller and so far, they’ve played great on the ice.
Early in the second period, it was more of the same until Buffalo got it’s second power play of the game. That’s when the Sabres were finally able to score and take a 1-0 lead early in the second.
The goal was Victor Olofsson’s fifth of the year, all on the power play. In fact, Victor set a league record by having all 7 of his first career goals occur on a power play. The passing leading up to the goal was very crisp and effective in creating shot opportunities, something the Sabres first power play unit excels at.
As the second period ticked away, the Sabres started to truly look in control of the game. They were effective in keeping the puck away from their zone, and had several good shot opportunities. The Sabres would score their second goal of the game with just 2 minutes left in the second.
This goal was Sam Reinhart’s second of the year. It was a perfectly placed pass by Victor Olofsson that set up Reinhart for the straight on slap shot.
In the third period the Sabres did something they’ve done all year, take their foot off the gas in crunch time. The Stars were able to keep the puck in the Sabre zone for most of the period. In the third, the Stars out shot the Sabres 12-3.
Moving forward the Sabres need to close out games better. When it comes to the third period, they need to play with the same offensive aggression they did in the first and second. Against a team more talented than the Dallas Stars, being out shot 12-3 in the final period could be a death sentence.
In goal Carter Hutton had his first shutout of the season. Hutton had the most recent game against Florida off, so he was plenty rested for this matchup. Hutton moves to 4-0-0 on the year following the win.
The Buffalo Sabres had yet another’s impressive showing, and are 5-0-1. If this team can continue to play the way they have, there’s no reason not to start thinking we could possibly make the playoffs.