The Sabres capped off their brief 2-game Western road trip against the Minnesota Wild. Unfortunately, they extended their losing streak to 4 games as they were out-gunned by the Wild 6 to 3.
The Sabres came into the game tonight ranked 30th in the league in shots against per game at 36.9, and it certainly remained the story as the Sabres surrendered 39 shots to the Wild.
Though they were unable to come away with a point, there are a few things that the Sabres can use as building blocks from tonight’s game.
The first of which was their ability to score the first goal, something they have struggled with this entire season. The forwards created havoc in front of the net, allowing Ristolainen to rocket home his first of the year from the far point.
Secondly, the play of Ristolainen and Zadorov. The young duo is proving that they can be effective on a less-than-talented team. The defensemen were third and first in ice time with 23:37 and 24:48 respectively. They each had a point, Ristolainen with a goal and Zadorov with an assist. Ristolainen ended the night with a plus 2 while Zadorov was a plus 3.
Lastly, Jhonas Enroth having a “good” game. It was no secret that Jhonas has struggled mightily in this young season. Tonight he faced almost 40 shots, making 32 saves, including multiple second and third chance opportunities. It is unreasonable to expect a goaltender in Enroth’s position to face almost 40 shots and win a game. Unlike some other nights, the onus for tonight’s loss should not be placed on the shoulders of the goaltending.
Though there is some good to be seen, it is important to stay realistic. A few players had a relatively good night against a Wild team that, before tonight, was riding a 4 game losing streak. The Sabres will need performance from many more players if they are going to win, or even compete in games.
With the loss tonight, Buffalo drops to 3-13-2 on the season and remains dead last in the league with 8 points, one point behind the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The Sabres will be back home in Buffalo this Saturday night to take on the Maple Leafs at 7:00 pm.