Sabres hang on and outskill the Devils in a shootout
Buffalo takes the first of a back-to-back against New Jersey.
Score: Sabres 4 | Devils 3 (S0)
Shots: BUF - 31 | NJD - 34
Sabres Goals: Eric Staal (3), Tobias Rieder (3) and Victor Olofsson (4)
Devils Goals: Ty Smith (2), Andreas Johnsson (1) and Janne Kuokkanen (1)
Plus 1 | Linus Ullmark
Another start in net for Linus Ullmark leads to another adventure in goal. Were there some goals you would like a save on? Sure. We all know Ullmark isn’t a shutdown, lights-out goaltender.
With that being said, Ullmark again helped lead the Sabres to another victory and two points. This afternoon’s victory pushed Ullmark to a 3-1-2 record in six games played.
Linus Ullmark stops all three shootout attempts, bringing his career average to .857 with 30 saves on 35 attempts.— John Vogl (@BuffaloVogl) January 30, 2021
That's second in NHL history among goalies who've faced 20 shots. Johan Holmqvist is first at .865.
Plus 2 | What a shot!
Every time Victor Olofsson scores a goal, we are collectively blown away by the plus-plus shot that he has.
Today was no different.
victor olofsson is lethal from there on the powerplay pic.twitter.com/5XIyHC6VEO— dylan (@dylanfremlin) January 30, 2021
Olofsson’s fourth goal of the season is his third power play goal of the season and the 16th power play goal of his career.
If Olofsson is very good at one thing, it is scoring goals on the power play.
Plus 3 | Jake McCabe
McCabe continues to be one of the Sabres best defensemen and today was no different.
Pointed out by our own Chad DeDominicis, McCabe led the Sabres in 5-on-5 on-ice expected goals plus / minus, with his defensive partner Rasmus Ristolainen coming in second.
Final game charts for your viewing pleasure pic.twitter.com/7ocEIIJPwK— Chad DeDominicis (@CMDeDominicis) January 30, 2021
McCabe’s strong start to the season continues and has helped pick up the slack on the defensive side of things.
Minus 1 | Missing Reinhart
Buffalo has enough offensive talent to spread around and try to mitigate the loss of Sam Reinhart, who missed this afternoon’s game with an injury. Reinhart’s status remains day-to-day.
While the top line was not the same without Reinhart, it was no secret that the top power play unit also had some struggles.
Buffalo ended the afternoon 1-for-5 on the power play and certainly could have used Reinhart’s presence with the man advantage.
If Reinhart misses an extended amount of time, the Sabres could be in trouble.
Minus 2 | Playing Down to Competition
The New Jersey Devils came out relatively flat on Saturday afternoon. It felt as if the Buffalo Sabres did their best to match that flat feeling, despite being the better team.
Buffalo seems to catch themselves playing down to lesser competition, when the opportunity presents itself.
Thankfully, the Sabres get another shot on Sunday afternoon to prove that the lack of overall explosion was a one-game thing and not a trend.