Score: Sabres - 4 | Rangers - 5
Shots: BUF - 17 | NYR - 31
Buffalo Sabres goals: Asplund (6), Butcher (2), Okposo (16), Skinner (27)
New York Rangers goals: Vatrano (13, 14), Lafreniere (15), Panarin (17), Miller (6)
Minus 1: Costly mistakes
While Buffalo has done better to limit turnovers and opposing rushes this season compared to previous years, they still show up time to time. This was one game where many of those mistakes cost them. Both of Vatrano’s goals came within 18 seconds of each other, with one coming on a breakout rush that was poorly defended and the other on a turnover. New York’s goal in overtime was also the result of a risky pass forced by Tage Thompson. Even though the Rangers are a much better team at this point and are expected to give them problems, making it easier for New York through these bad mistakes is something the Sabres could not do, and unfortunately, they were punished for it.
Plus 2: Consistently competing
Despite dropping this game in overtime to the Rangers, Buffalo continues to compete with some of the best teams in the league. New York is one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference and is poised to make a deep run into the playoffs. While the Sabres looked shaky at a few instances tonight, they continued to fight throughout the game, overcoming both a 2-0 and 4-3 deficit to at least pull out a point. As a result, Buffalo’s point streak continues on to five games, and also brings their overall record in March to 7-3-2. Not bad for a team notorious for playing awful hockey in March during years past.
Plus 3: Showing improvements
Win or lose this season, it’s hard not to be continuously impressed with the young talent Buffalo has brought in. Dahlin and Samuelsson showed once again why they will be important to the Sabres defense core down the road with stellar play, along with contributing three assists combined. Casey Mittelstadt also had a strong impact, chipping in with two assists of his own, to give him five points in the last four games. Overall, this team has done well to show that despite being outmatched at times, the effort they put in can still lead to success.
Peyton Krebs once again gave the pregame lineups in the locker room, doing a good job hyping up both his teammates and the fans. For such a young player who has only been with the Sabres a few months, he sure looks right at home.
Will Butcher found the back of the net for just the second time this season, despite being in and out of the lineup quite often. While Sabres fans should not get used to seeing his name on the scoresheet very often, it would be nice to see Butcher continue to use his offensive potential to create more chances when he does play.
Both Okposo and Skinner scored to bring their season tallies to 16 and 27, respectively. And I continue to have many questions for Ralph Krueger.
Next up: Buffalo has a quick turnaround as they head west for a matchup with the Chicago Blackhawks tomorrow, Monday, March 28th at 8:30 pm.