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Power play in full force

Man advantage playing a big role in early success

Through their first three games of the season, the Buffalo Sabres have been dominant with the man advantage, going 6-for-10 on the power play. This ties them with the New York Rangers for the best in the league.

With four out of five of the same players on the top unit, the only addition is rookie sniper, Victor Olofsson. Interestingly enough, he has three of his team’s six power-play goals. His first came in the 2nd game of the season in the demolition of the New Jersey Devils. As shown below, Olofsson shows off his hockey IQ by sneaking into the open slot and receives a pass from Jack Eichel. Olofsson made no mistake with the golden opportunity.




His most recent power-play goal came with just over a minute remaining in the Columbus game to tie the game at three and force overtime. Rasmus Dahlin and Olofsson played hot potato at the point until there was an opening for Olofsson to shoot through. Again, he made no mistake hammering home the clutch goal.

While the top unit has been buzzing, the 2nd unit has been effective as well. This unit has consisted of Casey Mittelstadt, Marcus Johansson, Conor Sheary, Colin Miller, and Rasmus Ristolainen. The first power-play goal of the season came in the first game from this unit. This game-winning goal was highlighted by an unreal pass from Mittelstadt off of a rebound from Miller’s shot from the point. Casey used the heel of his stick to find Sheary wide open in the slot for an easy goal.




The 2nd power-play goal from this unit came in the Columbus game to put Buffalo on the board as they started the game down 0-2. As Marcus Johansson enters the zone with speed and control, he drops the puck to a trailing Sheary and the unit starts to take position. A pass across to Colin Miller driving deeper into the offensive zone left Johansson wide open in the right faceoff circle to finish a one-timer into the empty net.

While this level of production is very unlikely to continue, it is encouraging to see the amount of talent and puck movement on both power-play units. If the Sabres want to continue their early-season success, they will need the power play to continue producing on both units.




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NHL Standings

TEAMGPRECPTS
Atlantic Division Leaders:
86-1-113
75-1-111
74-2-19
Metropolitan Division Leaders:
86-2-012
95-2-212
96-3-012
Wild Card leaders:
84-3-19
74-3-08
-----------------------------------------
73-2-28
73-3-17
72-2-37
83-5-06
52-2-15
52-3-04
71-4-24
61-4-13
TEAMGPRECPTS
Central Division Leaders:
76-0-113
73-1-39
74-3-08
Pacific Division Leaders:
87-1-014
86-2-012
85-3-010
Wild Card leaders:
84-3-19
64-2-08
-----------------------------------------
94-5-08
63-2-17
73-4-06
52-2-15
72-5-04
91-7-13
71-6-02