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Ruotsalainen Dazzles in Shootout, Sabres Defeat Coyotes

Buffalo and Arizona’s matinee matchup was determined by a shooutout and Arttu Ruotsalainen came to work ready.

NHL: Arizona Coyotes at Buffalo Sabres Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Score: Sabres 2 | Coyotes 1

Shots: BUF 33 | ARI 21

Buffalo Sabres Goals: Cody Eakin (1)

Arizona Coyotes Goals: Andrew Ladd (1)

Plus 1 | Couldn’t Get Much Better Than This

The Buffalo Sabres played their first Saturday matinee of the season and while a large amount of fans appear to have watched this one from home, things could not get much better for this team.

Out of the gates, Buffalo finds themselves sitting pretty at 2-0-0.

Despite it only being two games into the season, who would have thought this would have happened.

So far, we’ve seen players blossoming in the larger roles that they have earned, which is always a nice thing.

That blossoming was evident today when the Victor Olofsson - Tage Thompson - Rasmus Asplund line put up a perfect Corsi percentage, going 15 shots for and zero shots against when on the ice today.

Small sample size here but an impressive performance nonetheless.

Plus 2 | Feasting On Lesser Talent

There was no secret heading into this NHL season that both the Buffalo Sabres and the Arizona Coyotes were expected to be two teams caught hanging out in the league’s basement.

With that glowing endorsement in mind, it should come as no surprise that the excitement meter was not peaking at 100% heading into today’s game.

Either way, Buffalo did the job and the stats show.

According to MoneyPuck.com, their “Deserve To Win O’Meter” had Buffalo pegged at 78.5%. Furthermore, MoneyPuck shows that Buffalo just simply out-chanced Arizona where it mattered most.

Courtesy of MoneyPuck.com

Final Thoughts

While the game itself did not produce the fireworks that some had expected, Buffalo played a solid game from start-to-finish. That continues to be a breath of fresh air.

While you should always be able to handle lesser opponents, as Buffalo did today, these are the types of games that allow teams to figure things out prior to their inevitable matchups with the league’s powerhouses.

The shootout was also a nice moment, where we were all reminded of the hands that Arttu Ruotsalainen possesses.

The Buffalo Sabres have the next couple of days off, before hosting the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday night at the KeyBank Center.