Well, you can’t win them all. That was the case for the Buffalo Sabres as they dropped a game in a shootout to the Arizona Coyotes. What is there to be learned from this loss?
Last nights loss to Arizona certainly hurt for the Buffalo Sabres. After jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the first period, it appeared as if the game was Buffalo’s to lose, unfortunately that is when the Sabres began to actually lose the game.
First, let’s talk about the good. On Captain Jack Eichel‘s 23rd birthday, he was able to find the back of the net just 3 minutes into the game. The goal came just 3 seconds into Buffalo’s first power play. The Sabres have been very lethal on the power play all season, and this goal is yet another example of the Sabres capabilities.
Also good was Jeff Skinner. Skinner scored around halfway through the first for Buffalo’s second goal of the game. Skinner has been off to a scorching start this season scoring 7 goals in the first month, and Monday nights game was no different.
Also good was Carter Hutton. Hutton much like Skinner has been off to a phenomenal start this season, and in this game Hutton had 42 saves in 44 tries. Extra rest may be a big factor for Hutton this season, as Ralph Krueger’s coaching staff has given Hutton and Linus Ullmark essentially equal playing time.
Now for the bad. Buffalo has had a problem playing hard with a 2+ goal lead this season. It seems any time Buffalo gets up decent in a game, the Sabres start playing less aggressively offensively and let the opposing team scratch their way back into games. This game wasn’t any different as we saw this happen yet again.
Buffalo’s third and fourth line also didn’t play very well this game. Despite having a good start to the year, Buffalo’s deeper lines are now struggling to keep the puck in the opponents zone. Moving forward, it’d be positive to see these lines perform like they did the first 2 weeks of the year.
Overall, Arizona has been playing well this year and this isn’t an awful loss. It just feels like a game the Sabres should’ve won but let slip away, and if Buffalo wants to be a playoff contender this year, these are the types of games you need to win.