The Sabres look to get in the win column tonight against St. Louis. They’ve dropped four in a row (0-2-2) and have just one win in their last six games, scoring a paltry seven goals in that span.
As cliche as it gets, it’s hard to win when you don’t put the puck in the net. Buffalo is dead last in the NHL, scoring just 1.93 goals per game. For comparison’s sake, the New York Rangers are atop the league, averaging a whopping 4.06 goals per game.
The defense is tied for fifth overall, allowing just 2.33 goals against per game.
One place the team can try to find some offense: the power play.
The Sabres have had 44 power plays this season while having to kill off 57 penalties. In the past five games, the Sabres have had nine power plays while their opponent has had 26. On top of that, the Sabres had three consecutive games where they had to kill a long 5-on-3.
“We’ve had our bigger scorers out of the lineup, but we haven’t gotten to the power play as much as we need to to get opportunities to score there,” said Bylsma. “We should be playing the way where teams have to take penalties against us. Given the lineup we have, we need to manufacture goals in a hard and difficult way.”
With Dmitry Kulikov and Ryan O’Reilly out day-to-day with injuries, the Sabres recalled defenseman Justin Falk and forwards Nick Baptiste and Evan Rodrigues from Rochester.
Falk took Kulikov’s place in the home-and-home set with New Jersey. He was minus-1 while skating 13:34.
Baptiste has two goals in 10 games with the Sabres, taking 10 shots while averaging just under nine minutes per game.
Rodrigues, a speedy winger, played in two games with the Sabres last year, scoring a goal and an assist. He has three goals and five assists in 13 games for the Amerks this season.