The Buffalo Sabres have not scored since the 2:54 mark of the third period on Tuesday night against the Carolina Hurricanes. In total game time, the scoreless drought is now 137:06 and counting with a 4-0 loss to Boston on Saturday night. For the Sabres, those counting seconds are starting to get louder and louder. It's the first time since October 9-11, 2003 that the Sabres have been shutout in back to back games. "Everybody is frustrated when you lose, especially when you lose the way we have the last two games. We have to figure out ways to put the puck in the net," said Cody Hodgson after the game.
For once, it wasn't a lack of generated scoring chances for the Sabres either. The team had a total of 32 shots on goal, a team high this season, and had seven power play opportunities, which generated 11 of the 32 shots on goal. The Sabres just could not get enough traffic in front of the net and many of the shots were easier saves for Niklas Svedberg.
The Bruins came into the game having scored just four goals in their first four games and looking to break out of the slump. They did that with a defensive scoring party as three defensemen accounted for three quarters of the goals. Dougie Hamilton and Torey Krug each scored their first of the season while Zdeno Chara had his second. All three of their goals came from between the faceoff circle and the blue line and were just screened shots that Jhonas Enroth barely had a chance to see. When asked after the game whether he was able to see them, here was Enroth's response: "Honestly, I didn't see them at all. That's something that we need to work on."
The Sabres will have a few days to brood over their offensive inability as the team heads west for a three game road trip that starts in Anaheim on Wednesday night.
Three Questions Answered
1. Why is Sam Reinhart sitting? And Nikita Zadorov? What are we doing here?
Honestly, I really have no idea. Reinhart's replacement, Brian Flynn, had 11:21 of ice time, generated two shots, and won five of eight faceoffs. It is more ice time than Reinhart had been seeing for the last couple of games, but it's not like Flynn was a world changer on the offense. With the trip coming up, we'll see if either Reinhart or Zadorov will get a chance to get into the lineup.
2. Will the Sabres finally come out with a strong first period effort?
Surprisingly, yes, but the scoreboard didn't reflect it. The Sabres had three power play opportunities in the first period alone and out shot the Bruins 16-12 in the period. They also finished the period +5 in Corsi, and at even strength had a Corsi of 0. The Bruins were still up 2-0 at the end of the period.
3. How will Jhonas Enroth hold up on the wrong end of a back-to-back?
Enroth faced a total of 36 shots on goal and allowed four, but looked alright for most of the game. Three of the four goals allowed were screen shots that Enroth never had a chance of seeing, so the onus is more on the defense to get clear shooting lanes. With the road trip coming up. I'm sure we'll have to see some Michael Neuvirth time, which is always entertaining.