Score: Sabres 3 | Devils 2
Shots: BUF 29 | NJD 27
Sabres Goals: Colin Miller (2), Sam Reinhart (4, 5)
Devils Goals: Kyle Palmieri (3), P.K. Subban (1)
Observation 1 | Goals, Goals, Goals
The Buffalo Sabres scored three goals this afternoon.
You read that right, no need to adjust your glasses.
Even crazier? All three goals came at even strength.
For a team that has been so thirsty all season for any action at 5-on-5, a three even-strength goal performance from this team is nothing short of impressive.
The only thing to do from here? Build off of a strong afternoon and see where the offense goes from here.
Observation 2 | That Looked Ugly
In case you missed the game this afternoon, or even the replay itself, defenseman Jake McCabe left in the third period and did not return with a lower-body injury.
After watching the replay, that looks clear cut like a right knee injury.
There was no immediate update to McCabe’s injury postgame but it is clear - if the Sabres lose McCabe for any amount of time, the following developments would not be pretty.
Analytics have McCabe rated Buffalo’s best defenseman this season. Couple that with what our own Chad DeDomincis points out, something has to give.
Of course we don’t know what McCabe’s injury is yet but if it’s anything more than a week or so Adams needs to be on the phone for a LHD ASAP.— Chad DeDominicis (@CMDeDominicis) February 20, 2021
Dahlin and Irwin are all they have. Samuelsson and Bryson in the AHL.
Observation 3 | Responding to the Call
Ralph Krueger changed up defensive pairings a little today, giving Will Borgen the opportunity to play in a defensive pair with Rasmus Dahlin.
For many who have been waiting for Borgen to get a golden opportunity to prove his worth as one of the Sabres top prospects, this was a welcomed development.
Despite being held off the scoresheet in 19:14 time on ice, Borgen’s pairing with Dahlin produced an expected goals percentage of 72.54, which was second among all defensive pairings (McCabe / Miller - expected goals percentage of 84.27).
As long as Borgen continues to respond positively, one can only hope that Krueger will continue to give the young defenseman bigger opportunities.