Score: Stars 4 | Sabres 2
Shots: BUF 40 | DAL 31
Buffalo Sabres Goals: Tage Thompson (22), Cody Eakin (4)
Dallas Stars Goals: Michael Raffl (5, 6), Roope Hintz (23), Denis Gurianov (8-PP)
Minus-1: Can We Stop Playing Catch-Up?
The first period was pretty unfortunate for the Sabres and, while the defense allowed for 14 of the 21 Dallas shot attempts to be in Craig Anderson’s slot, the visitor’s offense was essentially nonexistent with a measly six shots on goal. Too many times this season have the Sabres put themselves in a position to constantly play catch-up by not getting on the board first. This trend continued into the second period as Roope Hintz found himself in front of the net with a neat pass from Joe Pavelski to widen the gap to 2-0.
After two periods, the scoring chances were of course in favor of the home team at 15 with the Sabres at a depressing five.
Minus-2: Raffl the Pest
There are many players who do well offensively against Buffalo and Michael Raffl is no exception. Though he is not putting up big numbers this season and is not generally a high-scoring player, he managed to bury two goals during today’s matinee. In his career against Buffalo, he has 14 points in 23 games and today was his first game-winner as a member of the Stars.
Plus-1: All The World’s a Tage
Seemingly frustrated with the fate of the game, Tage Thompson decided to take matters into his own gloves and score his 22nd goal of the season. Jeff Skinner and Jacob Bryson deserve just as much credit for getting Buffalo on the scoreboard, too. Skinner fed a long pass across center ice while Bryson stayed on his man to give room for Thompson to score with a nice wrister through the legs of Jake Oettinger, the Stars’ goaltender. With today’s goal, Thompson now has 40 points in 50 games, 10 of which have occurred in the last 13. In our last eight games, he also has eight goals.
Is there honestly anything new to take away from this game? We have talent, but there are too many holes in the Sabres franchise that it make it difficult to watch a game without cynicism. Even when we show sparks of offensive pressure (mainly in the third period today, sadly), we still fall short with many factors contributing to our many losses. For example, Cody Eakin scored today (and his line-mates John Hayden and Anders Bjork deserve an honorable mention here for playing very well today), but it had been 33 games without a goal from him. These are the factors we need to eliminate next season. Thompson, Skinner, and Alex Tuch cannot do everything. Other lines need to start stepping up more.
Buffalo has just eight goals in the last four games (woof) and, conversely, they have given up three or more goals in the last 11.
Three Stars of the Game:
1. Michael Raffl
2. Jake Oettinger (38 saves)
3. Thomas Harley
Tweet of the Game: “The Stars have a fan cam that shows people eating and it’s quite disturbing.” - @LLysowski
The Sabres will look to earn their first win on this road trip when they wrap it up against the Maple Leafs on Wednesday night at 7:30 PM.