Saturday night was more of the same from the Buffalo Sabres. They were terrible in their own zone, they couldn’t get any consistent pressure on Fleury, and again they get the same result: a loss.
Sidney Crosby got the scoring started 3:39 into the first period when he chopped at his own rebound. Crosby was being challenged by Jamie McBain in the corner, but easily pried the puck free and sent it to Dupuis in the slot. Dupuis sent the puck in front of the net where Crosby would eventually wind up. Crosby whacked and chopped at the puck while McBain and Tyler Myers watched.
Tyler Myers is 6’8″ but plays like he’s 5’5″. When you see 87 on Pittsburgh in front of your goaltender, you should probably use your size and knock him flat on his back because if you don’t, the puck will be in the back of your own net.
In the third period Chris Kunitz would make it 3-0 on a penalty shot. Enroth got a piece of it, but the puck managed to squeeze through his arms.
Buffalo would spoil Fleury’s shutout when Thomas Vanek had a beautiful deflection off of Cody Hodgson’s shot.
Pittsburgh would add their fourth goal on an empty netter scored by Craig Adams.
It may be early, but the future of this season has been displayed in these first three games. Buffalo has just two goals, they are 0-13 on the power play, and still don’t know how to successfully exit their own zone. Besides the straight facts, the Sabres have zero chemistry. There are a lot of new faces on the ice for Buffalo, and Head Coach Ron Rolston needs to put together lines that can become adhesive with one another. Just three games in, and all four lines look confused and very uncomfortable.
Rolston said that, “We’re still trying to do too much with our opportunities.” Which is spot on. Once Buffalo gains the offensive zone, someone always pushes the panic button. That panic button is automatically turned on during the power play, and if Buffalo wants to find their first win, they need to figure out how to find twine with the man advantage.
The positives through three games this season has been the goaltending and penalty kill. In two games, Ryan Miller has stopped 77 of 80 shots, and last night, Jhonas Enroth made 31 saves. The PK unit has been nothing but phenomenal. In three games, Buffalo is 8-8 on the penalty kill.
– Sidney Crosby now has points in the last 15 meetings against the Sabres (7G, 15A).
– In 9 periods, Buffalo has two goals.
– Buffalo goaltenders have made at least 31 saves in the first three games.
– Sabres PK unit is 8-8.
The Buffalo Sabres will not hit the ice until Tuesday night when they return home to host the Tampa BayLightning. Puck drop is at 7:30.