3 – They won the special teams battle
Over the past three weeks, the Sabres penalty kill was top-notch, but their power play was anything but. And while the PK unit allowed one goal last night, they still scored once shorthanded and won the overall special teams battle against a team that had been converting roughly 30 percent of its power plays, allowing just one in four attempts.
Buffalo also scored on one of their own power plays, which occurred when Victor Olofsson and Owen Power linked up to ultimately find JJ Peterka, who had yet another incredible game offensively. The goal proved to be a difference-maker late, allowing Alex Tuch to score the game-winner in the third, before he also snagged the game-sealer.
Overall, it was collectively a strong effort from a Sabres team that we weren’t sure was going to show up and play a sound hockey game following their big loss to the Flyers. But they stepped up on the road in a back-to-back, and although it’s still early, the Blue and Gold find themselves back in the thick of things.
(Statistics provided by NHL.com)