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Game Recap: Sabres Unable to Find Rhythm



It’s a 5-1 final in Ottawa as the Buffalo Sabres fall to the Senators in a frustrating game. Despite outshooting the Sens 46-31, the Sabres were unable to gain any speed through the neutral zone most of the night.

Impact Players

Buffalo did a solid job neutralizing the big names on the Senators. The likes of Brady Tkachuk, Tim Stutzle, Claude Giroux, and Vladimir Tarasenko were hardly noticeable for their offensive efforts.

Instead, it was Mark Kastelic, Parker Kelly, and Zack MacEwen who were giving the Sabres fits. Kastelic and MacEwen scored, while Kelly led the Sens in shot quality.

The Difference

The Sabres certainly didn’t get the save they needed from Devon Levi, while Anton Forsberg did a great job limiting second and third chance opportunities. Buffalo’s team defense didn’t make it easy on Levi though, with odd-man rushes pouring down him consistently throughout the first two periods.

The Sabres dominated the shot counter but Ottawa edged them out in expected goals, signifying that the deserved result was correctly awarded. It’s hard to say the Sabres were deserving of a different outcome.

Mr. Brightside

Okay, Seth Appert hair jokes aside, the bright side here is that we’re turning the page on 2023. The first few months of the season have not gone the way the Sabres and the fans have expected. There’s still over half the season to start reshape the story.

Something tells me Jack Quinn will be a big part of any turnaround. Also, the Sabres top players have to be their top players night-in and night-out if they want to make any sort of second half surge.

What’s Next

We’ll talk to you in 2024 as the Sabres are off until Thursday. I want to personally thank everyone for your supporting Buffalo Hockey Now over the last few days since I first came aboard. Have a safe and fun New Year’s and look for plenty of new content in 2024!