OPINION: Three observations: Answers unclear as Sabres are blanked again

A strong second period from the Flyers sinks Buffalo on Sunday

After getting shut out by the Philadelphia Flyers, 3-0 on Saturday afternoon, the Buffalo Sabres came back to KeyBank Center on Sunday afternoon to rectify their mistakes.

They turned in a performance that was just as goalless and lifeless as Saturday's game was.

Buffalo opened the game with five shots on the Flyers' net, but Philadelphia answered by outshooting the Sabres throughout the first and second period. In the second period, the Flyers went on to score three goals, which ended up being all they needed in another 3-0 win in Buffalo.

Let's see if we can pull some observations out of this one:

1.) Let's talk about the elephant in the room - scoring

The Sabres have not scored a goal in 125 minutes and 47 seconds of play at any state of hockey. No power play goals; no even strengh goals, nothing.

Sabres forward Sam Reinhart is the last Sabres player to score a goal, which came on Thursday night with 4:30 to go in the third period against the New Jersey Devils to force overtime.

Buffalo got smothered by the Flyers all weekend, outshot by a total of 77-51. The stat sheet shows that the Sabres fared slightly better in Sunday afternoon's game, but they got shelled in the first two periods before the Flyers let up in the third after taking a 3-0 lead.

To have any success moving forward, Buffalo has to figure out the scoring situation before anything else.

2.) Flyers took control after a quick start from the Sabres

Buffalo opened the game with five shots on goal to try to get out to a quick start. Flyers goaltender Carter Hart came into the game carrying a 5-3-3 record, a .891 save percentage and a 3.68 goals-against average.

Hart got himself into a rhythm early, and the Flyers took over control of the game from there.

Philadelphia was a juggernaut in the second period, controlling play with 25 attempted shots at 5-on-5 to Buffalo's 11. NaturalStatTrick.com tabs the Flyers as having eight high-danger scoring chances in the period to Buffalo's three.

Once ahead with a commanding league, Philadelphia took it easy in the third period, and even then, the Sabres could not break through the shaky Hart.

3.) Hot power play runs cold all weekend against the Flyers

The Flyers took down the Sabres power play on Saturday by taking advantage of Sabres captain Jack Eichel not being in the lineup. The Flyers effectively attacked Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin, so they couldn't get anything going with the man advantage.

Even with Eichel back on Sunday, things were more or less the same. With three chances with the man advantage, the Sabres were able to generate just two high-danger chances a man up from the Flyers.

Buffalo has totally sputtered offensively. Getting their power play going again could, at least, keep them in some games, but it's only a piece of the scoring puzzle that the Sabres haven't quite been able to solve yet.


Buffalo will get just one night to think about the outcome of the weekend. The Sabres head to New York on Tuesday night to take on the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden to start a five-game road trip.

The Paul William Beltz Pregame Show with Mike Schopp and the Bulldog kicks coverage off on Tuesday at 6 p.m. EST with faceoff scheduled for 7 p.m EST on the flagship station of the Sabres - WGR Sports Radio 550.

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