The Buffalo Sabres pulled off another major stunner in 2023 when they went on the road on Thursday night and shocked the Boston Bruins.
The Buffalo Sabres beat the Boston Bruins by multiple goals for seemingly the first time in forever. Sure, they upset Boston once last season in what was a memorable outing on New Year’s Eve, but it wasn’t a convincing win as the Blue and Gold were forced to play catch-up hockey.
That wasn’t the case in last night’s contest against a strong Bruins team, as the Sabres set an early tone and skated away from Massachusetts with the W. But how did they end up stunning yet another ultra-talented group?
3 reasons the Buffalo Sabres beat the Bruins on Thursday
1 – Sabres wreaked havoc all evening
One common denominator for the Sabres is when they win games, it’s often because they wreak havoc. Buffalo got their sticks on the puck nearly every time the Bruins looked as though they were about to embark on a breakaway or an odd-man rush, giving their teammates time to skate down the ice and play defense.
We saw something similar occur a week and a half ago when they beat the New York Rangers in Madison Square Garden. From this point onward, the Buffalo Sabres need to make a habit out of using their sticks every time they’re within arm’s length of an opponent.
2 – Sabres played a simple game and took shots at the net
The Blue and Gold had 35 shots on goal, but they set the tone early with 19 in the first period as the Bruins logged just five. While the Sabres generated just 16 in the final two frames, they had Boston on their heels because it forced the Bruins to anticipate quick shots.
Buffalo has done this a few times so far in 2023, but we’ve also seen them try to hold onto and pass the puck around instead of just taking the open shot. That wasn’t happening last night, and just as they need to wreak havoc more often, it would do the group well to keep up the ‘shoot when you have an open look’ mentality.
3 – Sabres took away shooting lanes
The Buffalo Sabres need to take open shots, but they also need to take away open shooting lanes, something that happened often on Thursday night. Boston ended up with 30 shots on goal, and 25 throughout the final 40 minutes, but how many would-be shots did the Sabres get in front of?
As of Friday morning, that number stood at 20, and it doesn’t count the number of potential shots the Bruins had before the Sabres poked the puck away. When you get in the other team’s way, they will have a much harder time scoring, and it’s something the Blue and Gold should realize following last night’s win.
(Statistics provided by NHL.com)