What went right (and wrong) in Buffalo Sabres loss to Carolina?

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - NOVEMBER 01: Rasmus Dahlin #26 of the Buffalo Sabres looks on against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center on November 01, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - NOVEMBER 01: Rasmus Dahlin #26 of the Buffalo Sabres looks on against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center on November 01, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
2 of 3
Next
Buffalo Sabres
RALEIGH, NC – NOVEMBER 07: Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen #1 of the Buffalo Sabres looks on during the second period of the game against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena on November 07, 2023 in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Jaylynn Nash/Getty Images) /

Right – Goaltending

The more Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen plays, the more confidence he should instill in all of us. Sure, he had a bad game this past Friday vs. the Philadelphia Flyers, but there isn’t a single goaltender that won’t struggle through a few bad performances, especially when the entire team struggles.

Despite the overtime loss, Luukkonen bounced back and snagged a 0.920 save percentage in regulation, including 16 of 17 (0.941) at even strength before the overtime frame. Given how worn out the Sabres skaters were before Martin Necas scored the overtime winner, there is no way anyone can pin last night’s loss on Luukkonen.

Wrong – Inconsistencies with the puck

Once again, the Buffalo Sabres were inconsistent with the puck, snagging just 20 shots on goal in regulation. This has been an issue recently, as Buffalo put up 22 or fewer on net in three of their last four games since last Wednesday’s 5-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers.

We know the offense can score, evidenced by the fact they have put up six goals or more twice this season, and that they’re 10th overall in goals scored with 41. Still, if they want to fully embrace the high-octane identity that they had last season, they need to consistently get pucks to the net, and it hasn’t happened in the season’s first 13 games.