For the 2nd time in 3 games, the Western Conference-leading Dallas Stars’ top-flight offense proved to be way too much for this young Buffalo Sabres squad.
Things started off very fast tonight for the Buffalo Sabres at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. Having a day off before tonight’s game, legs looked fresh and skates looked very sharp.
Unfortunately for Buffalo, a Chad Johnson boneheaded play would lead to the first goal of the evening.
An Antoine Roussel shot, which from replay appeared to be a somewhat routine save, somehow made its way past Chad Johnson. This goal baffled plenty of hockey fans. Just take a look below.
Yuck, man. I’m not saying I’d stop the puck if I was him, but I’m not paid to be a professional goaltender.
Moving on from that, things didn’t get any better from here for Buffalo.
The second period was filled with penalties from the Buffalo Sabres. 5 penalties called against the Sabres in this period (one for fighting and a double minor) in what can be chalked up to a very lackluster effort.
Luckily for the Sabres, their poor penalty kill unit did not burst at the seams.
Through two periods, the Sabres only found themselves down 1-0.
It would be the third period that did this game in for Buffalo, at the hands of the defending Art Ross Trophy winner.
Jamie Benn made his presence felt first on the power play. With his 13th goal of the season, at 7:11 of the third period, Benn put Dallas up 2-0.
Not to be outdone by himself, Benn scored again less than two minutes later. This came on the heels of a beautiful tic-tac-toe passing play from Sharp to Seguin to Benn.
Dallas would now find themselves up 3-0, thanks to Benn’s 14th of the season and 2nd of the game.
A little over 10 minutes remained in this game, and the Sabres looked absolutely lifeless.
Buffalo finished this game being shutout for the first time all season. They only racked up 49 shot attempts, while allowing 72 shot attempts from the Stars.
Not an inspired effort at all, as the Sabres wrapped up their brief road trip.
The Sabres remain in 7th in the Atlantic Division with an 8-10-2 record (18 points). They also sit in 12th place in the Eastern Conference.
Buffalo takes the ice again Monday night, when they host the St. Louis Blues at the First Niagara Center.
Here come the Quick Hits:
- Where is the offense?
Man, this is just not turning out like we all envisioned back in August.
This team has scored 43 goals this season, which equals out to 3rd-worst in the Eastern Conference and 4th-worst in the entire National Hockey League.
To assist you in wrapping your head around this, Ryan O’Reilly and Jack Eichel (13 combined goals) have scored 30.2% of the Sabres’ goals this season.
Yeah, it has been that bad.
Shooting percentages are in the tank for most players, which suggests that the “puck luck” will turn around for most. Hard to imagine the Evander Kane will maintain a 3.0 shooting percentage for an entire season (Gionta at 2.8%, Girgensons at 3.1%, Ennis at 6.3%).
Holy hell, batman. Chad Johnson is so hard to watch.
Maybe I’m just hard on the guy? I just can’t stand his free flowing, “I’m just going to float all over the crease and be out of position because why not” style of goaltending.
I just hate it so much. Robin Lehner, come back soon. We miss you. Also, Linus Ullmark if you could just be like the greatest goaltender until Lehner comes back and maybe longer if you want to still be good that would be cool too, thanks.
- Sabres not ready for real enough.
Yeah, ok I get it. The Dallas Stars are über talented. They’re currently the best team in all of the National Hockey League.
They know how to play the hockeys and they have all the talent to make Lindy Ruff look v, v good.
Games like this can be used as a measuring stick. How far do the Sabres need to come? After tonight’s game, it’s safe to say there is a long and winding road, and we’ve just begun it.
The Sabres can not be a legitimate team contending for a playoff position until their offensive woes get figured out. There is a lot of talent handling the puck, but a lot of it is just not clicking. Maybe some players are playing hurt (Ennis?), maybe others are just struggling to find their flow with new teammates.
Whatever it may be, Danny Bylsma needs to get cracking to figure it out or this season is going to be painfully long.
- Shots on goal are not optional.
A handful of games ago, the Buffalo Sabres were the undisputed leaders in the National Hockey League’s shots-per-game statistic. Now, the Sabres are dropping quick from the top 10.
Tonight’s performance in Dallas won’t help that free-fall.
22 shots on goal. Yup.