Buffalo Sabres: 3 burning questions for Week 2 in 2023-24

Oct 14, 2023; Elmont, New York, USA; New York Islanders center Jean-Gabriel Pageau (44) and Buffalo Sabres right wing Kyle Okposo (21) collide in the third period at UBS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 14, 2023; Elmont, New York, USA; New York Islanders center Jean-Gabriel Pageau (44) and Buffalo Sabres right wing Kyle Okposo (21) collide in the third period at UBS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports /
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Buffalo Sabres winger JJ Peterka
Oct 6, 2023; Buffalo, New York, USA; Buffalo Sabres right wing JJ Peterka (77) celebrates his goal with teammates during the second period against the Pittsburgh Penguins at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports /

2 – Can the Sabres take advantage of weak goaltending and/or defense?

The Buffalo Sabres could have a field day tonight when they square off vs. the Lightning, with either Jonas Johansson or Mark Tomkins lining up in the net. Johansson has played two games and he could be the 1A until Vasilevsky returns, but so far, he’s struggled, posting a 0.889 save percentage and 4.09 GAA.

Tomkins has similar numbers, and despite his age (29), he is just coming off of his NHL debut. For a Sabres team that struggled to find twine through the season’s first 120 minutes, they have a fine opportunity in front of them regardless of who’s in the net, but they must step up and take advantage.

In three starts this season, Jacob Markstrom of the Calgary Flames has a 0.898 save percentage, but his 2.96 GAA and two quality starts are nothing to scoff at. However, Markstrom has faced 88 shots on goal, or 29.33 per game, indicating struggles early on for Calgary’s defense. Once again, the Buffalo Sabres are in a good position here to get going offensively.