Buffalo Sabres vs New York Islanders Game Preview 3/7/2021

Expected Lines

Sabres

Hall – Eichel – Cozens

Olofsson – Staal – Reinhart

Reider – Eakin – Okposo

Skinner – Sheahan – Lazar

Mittelstadt*

*Called up from practice squad

Irwin – Ristolainen

Bryson – Montour

Dahlin – Miller

Hutton/Johansson

Isles

Lee – Barzal – Eberle

Beauvillier – Nelson – Bailey

Dal Colle – Pageau – Wahlstrom

Clutterbuck – Cizikas – Martin

Pelech – Pulock

Leddy – Mayfield

Greene – Dobson

Sorokin

Well it’s groundhog day again…

The Sabres and the Isles finally wrap up this three game stretch with another afternoon showdown. Games one and two of this stretch were abysmal from the Sabres, getting outscored 10-4 and outshot 74-40.

Buffalo is 0-5-0 against the Islanders this season and has been outscored 19-7 in the series, and even with their regular season struggles, these games against the Islanders have been the hardest to watch.

Another day, another chance to improve on scoring

The Sabres still find themselves in last place with only 26 5v5 goals in 22 total games, for comparison … Dallas has 28 5v5 goals in only 19 games played this season.

Buffalo’s scoring struggles have become more evident because they are also last place in total goals scored this season. The Sabres have 48 goals this season, they are the only team in the NHL to not have at least 50 goals scoffed this season. 13 teams have 48 or more 5v5 goals this season.

The Sabres found a fun defensive pair, that works together

Yesterday Jacob Bryson and Brandon Montour were paired up and led the Sabres in ice-time together.

Against the Isles this season, the two have played 31:45 together at 5v5 and have really solid underlying numbers.

The pair has a 61.38% xGF%, a 56.67% scoring chance for % and a 53.85% HDCF% as well as scoring one of the few goals the Sabres have gotten against New York.

Most importantly they’re fun to watch, when the Sasbres find something that works together they have a tendency to break it up and go back to old habits, hopefully Ralph and the coaching staff will give this pair more time together because they have been the best pair one the ice in recent games.

Jokiharju / Mittelstadt

The Sabres announced this morning that Henri Jokiharju has been sent down to the taxi squad while Casey Mittelstadt and Brandon Davidson have been recalled.

Off-Ice notes

The Sabres haven’t been performing on the ice, and now it seems that there’s even more news surrounding the team off the ice.

Elliot Friedman said that they are “open for business” on HNIC, saying that Staal and Reinhart are garnering interest.

Every day that goes by without some drastic change to the Sabres (either performance wise or personnel change) things like this will continue to dominate the news cycle both locally and nationally.

Prediction

Buffalo has been dominated and uninspiring the last few games, so it’s hard to be positive in terms of the prediction.

4-2 New York.

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