OPINION: Three observations: Sabres come out flat, lose to Islanders again

The Sabres were outshot 18-6 to start game, and played catch up all night

For a team that desperately needs a win, the Buffalo Sabres aren't showing that desperation on the ice.

The Sabres allowed the New York Islanders to dominate them in the shot department, as well as on the scoreboard on Thursday night.

The Islanders got off to a 2-0 start in the first period, outshooting Buffalo, 18-6 in that period alone. Make no mistake, New York controlled the entire game, outshooting the Sabres, 45-18 in a 5-2 victory at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale.

Let's take a look at three observations from Thursday night's game:

1.) Buffalo flat to start

We already mentioned the Islanders outshooting Buffalo, 18-6 in the first period, and 45-18 on the night. That's just what got on net.

The Islanders controlled pretty much all facets of play throughout the night, but in the first period alone, they nearly tripled Buffalo's shot attempt production. They had seven high-danger scoring chances, according to NaturalStatTrick.com, to Buffalo's one.

The Sabres and Islanders played close for, maybe, the first few minutes of the game, but that did not last long.

The Islanders took control and never looked back after their first goal of the game, where Islanders defenseman Noah Dobson jumped up on the rush, found the puck cleanly in the slot and fired a shot by Sabres goaltender Jonas Johansson. Sabres forward Cody Eakin half-heartedly tried to block the shot, but only ended up setting up a screen.

2.) Johansson hung out to dry

Observation No. 2 is highly related to observation No. 1.

Johansson faced a ton of Islanders shots throughout the game, getting tested at every corner.

The Buffalo netminder really only had one goal he'd likely want back. Islanders forward Matt Martin held the puck for while close to the goal line along the boards before taking it behind the net. He must have seen an opportunity for something, because he took a shot towards the net from behind and it deflected off of Johansson's mask and into the net.

Besides that, Johansson really had no chance to keep the Sabres in this one.

3.) Sabres may have something in Bryson

No, really, they might.

Sabres defenseman Jacob Bryson skated a team-high 21:49 of total ice-time in Thursday night's loss to the Islanders.

He's not perfect, and not every time he's been noticeable has been a good one, but Bryson is the one defensman that stands out on the Sabres' blue line in what he's able to do for them.

Bryson seems to be one of the only Sabres defensemen that wants to move the puck himself, and when he does move the puck, good things happen. He consistently is able to skate the puck through the neutral zone to get the Sabres some offensive chances.

Bryson is someone to watch a bit more closely in the coming games, as the Sabres move further and further away from playoff contention.


If you don't want to see that the Sabres' next matchup pits them against the Islanders again, stop reading. If you think you'll be in to that sort of thing, read on.

The Sabres will stay on Long Island and prepare to face the Islanders this Saturday afternoon. The Paul William Beltz Pregame Show with Brian Koziol starts coverage on WGR at 12 p.m. EST, with opening faceoff scheduled to take place at 1 p.m. EST.

We strive to be a platform where varying opinions may be voiced and heard. The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed by the author(s) of this article and/or by those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not represent those of Audacy, Inc. We are not responsible for any damages or losses arising from this article and/or any comment(s).