Last night’s loss to the Philadelphia Flyers was a tough pill to swallow for Buffalo Sabres fans. But there were some good takeaways despite the score.
Losing a game 5-1 is never fun, and the Buffalo Sabres looked overmatched from start to finish despite playing in their Goathead sweaters in front of a packed audience. Considering how well the Sabres had played at home and the fact so many fans paid to watch their team in-person, they deserved to get booed off the ice following that miserable outing.
Despite this, there were a few good things to take away from what was an otherwise long night. Two players extended their respective points streaks, the penalty kill unit rocked once again, and the Sabres also held a massive advantage in one particular category. Let’s dive deeper.
What went right in the Buffalo Sabres loss to the Flyers
1 – Points streaks
JJ Peterka and Casey Mittelstadt provided the helpers on Henri Jokiharju’s goal, extending their points streaks to four and three games, respectively. Both have scored four points in their respective spans, and appear to be on pace for career-highs in points.
Peterka has six points in 11 contests, pacing him for 45 in 82, while Mittelstadt can hit between 74 and 75 at the rate he’s going. The Sabres may have room for one more big contract extension among skaters, and as it stands, Mittelstadt is the front-runner to snag it.
Source: Sabres unable to overcome early deficit in loss to Flyers by Katelyn Kardaman, Sabres.com
2 – The PK unit
The Sabres stopped both of the Flyers power plays last night, which has now officially pushed them over the 90 percent mark in the PK. Buffalo faced a whopping 42 power plays in 11 games this season, but has allowed goals in just four of them. And when you do the math, they are light years ahead of the rest of the league.
On average, the other 31 teams have allowed seven power play goals, and their success rate on the penalty kill is just 79.75 percent. Buffalo is currently fifth in the league, and second in the Eastern Conference only to the Boston Bruins.
(Statistics provided by Hockey-Reference)
3 – The faceoff battle
The Buffalo Sabres fared much better in the faceoff dot last night, snagging 21 for 35. Kyle Okposo, Peyton Krebs, Brandon Biro, Dylan Cozens, Casey Mittelstadt, and Tage Thompson all took part, and each won at least 50 percent of their battles.
Biro was highly impressive, winning 66 percent of his, while Cozens reached the same number. Tage and Mittelstadt, both of whom have historically struggled in the dot, won 62 and 53 percent of the time, respectively.
(Stats provided by NHL.com)