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5 Observations: Devils top Sabres 3-1

Posted: 10:06 PM, Mar 25, 2019
Updated: 2019-03-26 02:06:49Z
Kyle Okposo and the Sabres score just one goal despite registering 46 shots

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — In a game where the Buffalo Sabres had 25 more shots than their opponent they still lost, falling to the New Jersey Devils 3-1. Buffalo finished with 46 shots but their lone goal came on a fluky dump in from Sam Reinhart, who threw a puck at the net from center ice. With the loss, the Sabres fall to 31-35-9.

5 Observations from Monday's loss:

No puck luck

Right now the Sabres just can't buy a goal. Jeff Skinner is the first player that comes to mind, who once again had several great chances but couldn't solve Cory Schneider. Skinner now has only one goal in the Sabres last 17 games. Reinhart, who scored the Sabres lone goal, had what would've been his second of the night taken away because of goaltender interference.

"We did everything we wanted to do but put the puck in the net, " Evan Rodrigues told reporters in New Jersey after the game. "That seems like it's the way it's going these days."

MittelSAT

I'm not clever enough to think of that but to whoever said it first on social media, kudos to you. Jokes aside, I don't understand the decision to sit Mittelstadt at this point in the season. The rookie center has struggled as of late but so has the rest of the team. For a player still learning the game, sitting him with only a few games left just doesn't make sense to me. Whether or not his development was rushed is a conversation for another day but with only seven games left in the season, I think he needs to return to the lineup.

What can we learn during these last seven games?

It would be nice to see the Sabres win a few games after their disastrous last few months. Yes, I realize how elementary that sounds but if you've watched the team lately a "few" games seems like a lot to ask.

This has probably become the most overused stat and tidbit during the second half the season but it's worth reminding you that the Sabres haven't won back-to-back games since Dec. 11 and Dec. 13. Perhaps that streak ends sometime in the next two weeks.

They didn't even score

Not to get carried away....but let's get carried away. In the second period, the Sabres went on the power play and looked great. They didn't even score but it was one of the best man advantages attempts that I can remember in the last few weeks.

The first power play unit featured:
-Eichel
-Skinner
-Reinhart
-Nylander
-Dahlin

As a unit, the combination seemed to work well together and applied some really solid pressure. Two unsuccessful attempts are far too small of a sample size but if the Sabres went with this unit for the remainder of the season I'd certainly be on board.

Taking Flight

From the moment he was called up from Rochester it was obvious that Lawrence Pilut is extremely talented. What cost him a roster spot was the costly mistakes he made that led to goals against. In his first game back with the Sabres after he was sent to Rochester, Pilut reminded us that he should be a regular in the lineup next season. If he can limit the mistakes, which I'm confident he can, there is no reason why he shouldn't play a big role on this team next season. When he's on the ice his presence is felt and he makes his teammates better.