BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) - Less than 13 minutes into Saturday's game the Dallas Stars had already scored four goals. Their fast start would prove to be insurmountable, as the Stars toppled over the Buffalo Sabres 5-1. Ryan O'Reilly scored the only goal for Buffalo, who fall to 4-8-2 to open the season.
Four goals on 10 shots. After 20 minutes the Sabres found themselves trailing 4-0 after one of their worst periods of the season.
I don't even think that was the #Sabres worst period of the season, which pretty much sums up how things are going.— Matthew Bové (@Matt_Bove) November 5, 2017
Buffalo was outplayed at both ends of the ice and Dallas made them pay, capitalizing on some nice rushes and hammering home two rebounds. Dallas only had two more shots than the Sabres but they dominated nearly the entire period.
Sabres desperately need to get healthy
Justin Falk isn't a top-pair NHL defenseman. That's not meant to be a knock on Falk, he's a reliable depth player who can step in and play different situations. It is, however, an indication of where the Sabres stand with injuries.
This tweet from WGR 550's Paul Hamilton explained things well, looking at the Sabres depth chart on the blue line and how decimated the unit really is.
If you did a defenseman depth chart 1, 3, 5 and 8 are hurt. 2, 4, 6, 7, 9 and 10 are dressed— Paul Hamilton (@pham1717) November 5, 2017
Bogosian, Beaulieu, and Gorges are desperately missed. Until they return, the defense will remain a massive area of concern. As for Ristolainen, he's day to day with an upper-body injury.
I'm just as confused as you
I just don't understand how you can have Nick Baptiste scratched while dressing Jordan Nolan and Matt Moulson. With both veterans, you know what you're going to get. Baptiste is a different story and could inject some speed and upside into the lineup.
Just look at Justin Bailey after he was called up earlier in the year. For a few games, he was flying all over the place. Baptiste, like so many others, is looking for his opportunity to make an impression. Just like many of you, I think he deserves a shot to do just that.
That escalated quickly
Just two days ago Robin Lehner played a solid game and bailed the Sabres out time and time again. Less than ten minutes into the first period Lehner's night was done after allowing three goals. He doesn't deserve all of the blame because his defensemen didn't give him much help but he has to be better. Although plenty of fans were ready with their pitchforks after tonight -- the Sabres have bigger problems than Lehner.
Lone bright spot
There really wasn't much to like about the Sabres' effort on Saturday but sometimes you just need to try and look at the positives. How's that for some free life advice?
In the second period the Sabres did a pretty good job responding after a completely one-sided opening frame. As the middle frame came to an end the Sabres got caught on a long shift and Dallas scored their fifth of the night but Buffalo controlled play for the majority of the period, outshooting Dallas 11-4.