Final Score 6-2 New York
Arrow Up – Jack Eichel’s Line
I know what you’re thinking, “They didn’t score a single point between the three of them, how could they have been a positive?”
Analytically, they were the only line (plus Marco Scandella before his departure from the game) that produced over the course of the game.
This chart by Chad DeDominicis shows that Eichel, Reinhart, Olofsson and Scandella were the only impactful players offensively in the first period by calculating their expected goals for. They continued that in the second and stayed stagnant in the third (except Olofsson bumping his xGF a bit).
Eichel’s line generating the most chances on their team is something you expect to see, even if they didn’t find the back of the net. If they can carry this kind of impact into Detroit tonight, they should have more success burying pucks.
Arrow Down – Injuries
Both Marco Scandella and Jimmy Vesey left the game with injuries. After the game, Ralph Krueger said, “Nothing looks long-term there but they’re still being appraised.”
While the depth of the Sabres organization has improved and it’s next man up, but injuries can derail momentum the Sabres have built up. It’s hockey, injuries are going to happen, but hopefully the banged up guys get back soon and the rest of the team stays healthy.
Update: Will Borgen was called up from Rochester this morning.
Arrow Down – Another bad first period
The Rangers backs were against the wall. After starting out 2-0-0 with a win over the Ottawa Senators on October 5, the Rangers came into the game losers of five straight games. They had to come out strong and they did.
It looked reminiscent of the game against the Sharks. The time was ticking down in the first, Buffalo would be down 2-0. Then Ryan Strome tips a puck past Carter Hutton to go up 3-0 with under a minute left and that was the ballgame.
The Sabres came out with a strong second, outshooting the Rangers 15-4, but only mustered two goals and that was the end of that.
- Carter Hutton was handed his first loss of the season, moving him to to 6-1-0.
- Marco Scandella scored his second of the season. He’s up to two goals and two assists in 11 games. Last season he posted six goals and seven assists in 63 games, so his improvement this season is reflecting on the scoresheet as well.
- Vladimir Sobotka picks up his first goal of the year. 4 more until Joe has to buy his jersey.
The Sabres are in Detroit tonight for a matchup against the Red Wings. It’s safe to expect Rodrigues and Gilmour will step in for Vesey and Scandella, but we’ll know more leading up to gametime. The Sabres haven’t been skating on game days, don’t expect them to start today after a game last night.
Luckily, the two worst games the Sabres have seen this season, Anaheim and New York, were the first games in back-to-backs. Buffalo lost 5-2 to Anaheim, then marched into LA and handed the Kings a 3-0 shutout. Hopefully the Sabres can replicate this in Detroit tonight.
Expect Ullmark between the pipes. Stay tuned to @TheChargingBUF for previews and post game recaps.