Final Score BUF 1 WSH 3
The Buffalo Sabres played a decent game for themselves tonight in Washington but their goal scoring woes once again got in the way of getting back in the win column. Lately the Sabres have made it look nearly impossible to come back from a two goal deficit. It is cliché, but their best players must start playing like their best players. They must start producing at 5 on 5 because if this doesn’t turn around soon, they may not even get their meaningful games in March that we’ve been waiting ten years for.
- Will Borgen: Borgen had another solid outing for the Sabres tonight. He looks calm and confident, I think he belongs in this lineup going forward. He’s a modern day defensive defenseman and that is something that this team desperately needs in their lineup. Rasmus Dahlin has looked better as of late but it may be a wise move to slot Borgen on his defensive pair and see if that can work. Kevyn Adams and Ralph Krueger need to come up with a way to keep this player in the lineup going forward when Rasmus Ristolainen is ready to come back.
- Power play Olofsson: Same deal as the last game except Olofsson’s goal counted this time. Olofsson has been great on the man advantage all season, the same can’t be said about his 5 on 5 performance at all. But he’s a power play specialist and he’s essentially the only guy on the team who is producing goals at this point.
- Tage Thompson: Turnovers, turnovers, and more turnovers. Thompson has gotten so many looks on the Eichel line and it’s just not working. He was taken off the top line for the third period and the line went back to Hall-Eichel-Reinhart, but this ship has sailed for Thompson on the top line. He doesn’t stylistically fit in anywhere on this team and after his performance tonight, he should be watching next game from the press box. The same can be said about Kyle Okposo, this team needs a wakeup call.
- 5 v 5 scoring: The Sabres have just one goal at 5 on 5 in their last four games and that is not going to get it done at all. It’s nice to see that they’re getting some production on the power play but they cannot solely rely on that if they have any hope of getting into the playoffs. They did have some nice chances throughout the game tonight but they need to start capitalizing on those chances. They desperately need their stars to start finding the back of the net, and the blame doesn’t just fall on Eichel, Skinner, Hall, and Reinhart too. They need scoring from their bottom six as well, and they’re not getting that either.
The Sabres will be in New Jersey for an afternoon game on Saturday and then will have a quick turnaround for a back to back with the Islanders and Devils on Monday and Tuesday next week as well. The condensed schedule will be tough for all teams around the league, but this stretch is crucial for the Sabres to get back in the race for the playoffs.