Sabres 0 | Senators 5
Buffalo Sabres Goals: None....zero....zilch.
Ottawa Senators Goals: Tyler Ennis 3 (2, 3, 4), Drake Batherson (13), Alex Formenton (8)
Shots: BUF 32 | OTT 47
Minus -1: No parking in the Blue Paint
Buffalo sorely lacked a strong net front presence throughout most of the game. Despite firing 32 shots on Sens’ keeper Matt Murray, the Sabres failed to make life too difficult for the Ottawa goalie. The Sabres did have some decent looks tonight, however, all too often Murray only had to make the first save with no follow-up whatsoever.
Minus -2: Odd-Men Out
Three of the five Senators’ goals were scored off of odd-man rushes. On the first Ottawa goal, centreman Adam Gaudette undressed Buffalo D-man Robert Hagg with a nice thru-the legs-deke before feathering a pass to winger Tyler Ennis, who out hustled Anders Bjork, and tapped in the first of his three goals.
That dangle by Gauds on the setup pic.twitter.com/fL7hj7CrLP— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) January 26, 2022
Another 2 on 1 goal started when Buffalo defenseman Rasmus Dahlin got caught diving to keep the puck in the Sens’ zone. This resulted in Ottawa forwards Alex Formenton and Tim Stutzle charging in against the lone Sabres’ blueliner Henri Jokiharju. A nice give and go put goalie Aaron Dell and Jokiharju down and out as Formenton tapped the puck into a wide open cage to make it 4-0 for the Men In Black.
Minus -3: Dell injures Ottawa’s Leading Scorer
Sabres’ goaltender Aaron Dell will likely have to chat with the NHL Department of Player Safety after he cleaned out Ottawa young gun Drake Batherson in the first period. Dell stepped into a forechecking Batherson as the Senator was bearing down on Buffalo defender Mattias Samuelsson. As a result, Batherson fell awkwardly into the boards and appeared to injure his leg. Not only was Batherson done for the game, Dell was not penalized on the play.
Drake Batherson was forced to leave the game after being hit by Aaron Dell. pic.twitter.com/t6T66c6gdJ— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) January 26, 2022
Plus +1: Krebs continues to Impress
Perhaps the only “glass half full” left at this bar was that Buffalo center Peyton Krebs looked very good playing alongside winger Alex Tuch. Krebs was noticeable every time he touched the puck and managed to create a few good scoring chances.
Best Comment from the Game Thread:
“Some days you’re the dog. Some days you’re the fire hydrant.” - Matt-G
Final Thoughts & Notes:
- Krebs and Tuch were the only two Sabres I liked in this one. Honorable mention goes to Dylan Cozens, who showed some fire, and Rasmus Dahlin, who was playing well early before he got caught trying to do too much.
- Perhaps some of the sloppy play can be chalked up to unfamiliarity. Tuch, Krebs, Mittelstadt and Samuelsson all logged big minutes in this one, however none of them have played much hockey together in the NHL.
- With no fans in attendance, Ottawa backup goaltender Anton Forsberg threw his hat onto the ice after Ennis scored his 3rd goal of the game to celebrate the hat-trick. Well played.
- Next up, the Sabres head south to square off against the Coyotes on Saturday night.