OPINION: Three observations: Sabres finally break through, but can't beat Rangers

Buffalo's offense finds its spark early; Cozens tries to provide energy in the third period

The Buffalo Sabres have been looking for a spark to get their offense going through much of the 2020-21 season.

Sabres forward Sam Reinhart got the Sabres on the board just 55 seconds into the opening period of Tuesday's matchup with the New York Rangers. This came after the Rangers opened the scoring just 28 seconds into the game.

In the end, the Rangers went on to win Tuesday's contest, 3-2, but it wasn't for lack of trying from the Sabres.

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

1.) Sabres find production at 5-on-5

The Sabres hadn't scored an even strength goal since Riley Sheahan's marker in the first period against the New Jersey Devils three games ago.

It didn't take long after the Rangers' first tally for Sam Reinhart to find the net for Buffalo. Buffalo entered the zone on a 2-on-1 rush with Victor Olofsson finding the puck in the offensive zone and tossing it in front for Reinhart. The veteran winger managed to fire his shot over the glove of Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin to tie the game at 1-1.

The Rangers would add on a couple of more goals before Buffalo would strike again; this time it was was forward Tobias Rieder who took advantage of defensman Rasmus Ristolainen activating forward, carrying his defender with him and leaving Rieder with a shot opportunity that found its way through quite a few bodies.

Buffalo wasn't able to tie the game up in the third, but they had their chances.

2.) Cozens shows energy with fight

Following Sunday afternoon's 3-0 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers, Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin suggested that someone has to get involved physically and provide the Sabres a burst of energy.

Sabres rookie forward Dylan Cozens must have heard Dahlin, and executed exactly what he was looking for.

Late in the third period, Cozens dropped the gloves with Rangers defenseman Ryan Lindgren and he landed quite a few punches in his first NHL fight. Unfortunately, it didn't provide Buffalo the energy to get the tying goal.

3.) Sabres can't break through in the third

The Sabres came out and did a good job getting on the board early in the first period, but unfortunately, the Rangers were just as quick, if not quicker.

Buffalo came within a goal of tying the game after Tobias Rieder's goal in the second period, but the Sabres generated just five shots on goal in the third. The Sabres got a late power play chance, but they couldn't convert.

The Rangers now sit four points above the Sabres in the East Division. Buffalo is firmly in last place in the NHL in points, and 29th in the NHL in points percentage.


The Sabres will travel east to Long Island, where they will take on the New York Islanders at the Nassau Veterans Memoriol Coliseum. Buffalo will play the Islanders three times in four nights, starting on Thursday night.

The Paul William Beltz Pregame Show with Mike Schopp and the Bulldog gets started at 6 p.m. EST with faceoff scheduled to take place just after 7 p.m. EST on the radio flagship of the Sabres - WGR Sports Radio 550.

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