Victor OlofssonGoalofsson scored his first two goals of the season on the power play. The first came off a great cross ice pass from Jack Eichel after some good puck movement that allowed Olofsson to be left alone on the far side. Olofsson made no mistake ripping home his first of the year. The second goal came in the second period when Eichel signaled to Olofsson to move down where he fed him with a pass. Olofsson first tried to move it down low to Reinhart but the puck quickly popped back out with Olofsson snapping it right into the back of the net. We can get used to this sight pretty easily.
The Sabres’ Fourth LineGirgensons-Larsson-Okposo were exactly what Ralph Krueger wanted them to be tonight. They provided some great energy in limited ice time and put pressure on in some key moments. Kyle Okposo’s goal came just about 2 minutes after New Jersey scored in early into the second period, which was a huge response that kept the Sabres momentum going. All three players on the fourth line had above a 75 CF% tonight!! If they continue to play like this the Sabres will have no issue rolling all four lines.
Henri Jokiharju and Marco ScandellaHenri Jokiharju has resurrected Marco Scandella’s career it seems. The two provided a steady presence on the blue line tonight and moved the puck well. Jokiharju didn’t seem to make one errant pass all night and his timely pinches helped the Sabres keep possession in the offensive multiple times tonight. With about 18 minutes of ice time each the pair each had over 70 CF%. It will be interesting to see how Krueger utilizes his D pairings moving forward because for now he has still relied heavily on Ristolainen and McCabe but with Jokiharju and Scandella playing well their ice time may creep up a little towards 20 minutes.
- Jokiharju and Scandella had a great game again
- Top line broke out combining for 6 points
- Puck movement was great throughout the game
- To go off above, Marcus Johansson was great again tonight with the puck
- Good transition game
- All four lines applied consistent pressure
- The crowd was electric
Overall RecapAn overall great game, starting with an awesome ceremony to honor the Sabres past captains and ending with Sam Reinhart breakaway goal, really capped off a 7-2 dominant win over the Devils. The Sabres once again played a full 60 minutes of structured hockey, pressuring the Devils all night. They out shot New Jersey 36-20 and dominated the possession game with 60.42 CF%. Shift after shift all four lines consistently put pressure on the Devils D and importantly had support from their defense who made timely pinches. It was nice to see the Sabres top line breakout after a quiet game on Thursday, with Olofsson and Reinhart both scoring a pair of goals and Eichel potting one of his own. Carter Hutton was solid again in net making some nice saves on the penalty kill early on to add to the momentum. All in all, the Sabres look like a totally different team to start the year. Ralph Krueger has this team playing confident, fast paced hockey. See you Monday as the Sabres face off against Columbus in what could possibly be the Sabres first three game win streak to start the year since 2008-2009 according to our own Joe Marino.