Buffalo Sabres Game Preview #5 – Panthers 10/11/19

Sabres Lines:

Olofsson – Eichel – Reinhart

Skinner – Johansson – Sobotka

Vesey – Mittelstadt – Rodrigues

Girgensons – Larsson – Okposo

McCabe – Ristolainen

Dahlin – Miller

Scandella – Jokiharju


Panthers Lines:

Huberdaru – Barkov – Hoffman

Vatrano – Trocheck – Connolly

Hawryluk – Malgin – Dadonov

Hunt – Acciari – Sceviour

Weegar – Ekblad

Matheson – Stralman

Yandle – Brown


3 Things to Watch

#1 Six Sabres look to extend their point streaks

Along with a good start for the team in the first four games of the season, three players are looking to extend their point streak to five.

Rasmus Dahlin, Victor Olofsson and Sam Reinhart has points in all four games so far.

Jeff Skinner and Marcus Johansson are riding three game point streaks, while Colin Miller is at two straight games with a point.

#2 A battle of top-10 powerplays

It’s no surprise to Sabres fans the Sabres are in the top of the league (2nd to be exact) with a 53.3% powerplay conversion rate. That being said, Florida enters tonight’s tilt 9th in the NHL at 30.8%. Florida’s powerplay units reflect what Buffalo’s look like so far this season: A very impressive and dangerous first unit featuring Hoffman, Barkov, Dadonov, Huberdeau and Yandle.

Taking a wild stab in the dark as to what the coaches might preach in their respective locker rooms, “Stay out of the box”

#3 Who will win the battle of #68?

I find it funny that both 68’s in tonight’s game are fast snipers on the first line with high quality playmakers. Both Victor Olofsson and Mike Hoffman have 4 goals (Olofsson has 1 more game played than Hoffman), but only two of which have come on the powerplay for Hoffman, unlike Olofsson who has all his goal on the man advantage.

Hoffman might be more dangerous 5v5, but all eyes in Buffalo will be on Olofsson the moment Florida finds themselves headed to the sin bin.

Player to watch on Buffalo: Rasmus Dahlin

Honestly, he hasn’t played very well yet. That being said, he has 7 points in 4 games so I can’t imagine what he’ll be able to do when he’s clicking on all cylinders. Even with the mistakes that have been made, Dahlin still plays with the confidence of a veteran, so there is no reason for panic.

Player to watch on Florida: Alexander Barkov

I think it’s safe to say Alexander Barkov is the most underrated player in the NHL. Last season, he put up 96 points, but no one talked about it because they didn’t make the playoffs and because he played on the Florida Panthers.

If he put up numbers like that on pretty much any other team, everyone would know his name. Put him with players like Huberdeau and Hoffman, I don’t see a reason why he can’t have a repeat performance this season.

Since 2014, the Sabres are 5-16-3 against the Panthers, but according to @ChartingHockey, things are looking nice for Buffalo’s chances tonight:


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