5 Observations: Ducks take down Sabres 5-2

5 Observations: Ducks take down Sabres 5-2
Posted at 10:11 PM, Feb 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-09 22:43:02-05

The Buffalo Sabres and Anaheim Ducks entered the third period tied at one. That tie didn't last long, with Anaheim scoring three goals in less than ten minutes to take a 4-1 lead. Rasmus Ristolainen pulled Buffalo within two late, but Anaheim added an empty netter, topping the Sabres 5-2.

Five observations from Thursday's loss:

Shots, anyone?

Is it me or are the Sabres giving up a ton of shots lately?

Nope, it's not just me, they totally are. Here's the Sabres last five games:

02/09 vs Ducks: 44 shots against
02/07 vs. Sharks: 40 shots against
02/06 at Devils: 39 shots against
02/04 vs. Senators: 37 shots against
0202 vs. Rangers: 44 shots against

Buffalo was outshot in every one of these games, finishing with a 2-2-1 record. If it wasn't for Robin Lehner and Anders Nilsson, this could've gotten messy.

Refer to the last category

While the Ducks peppered the Sabres with shots, Buffalo failed to get pucks to the net and generate any pressure. When the final buzzer sounded the Sabres had only 26 shots, 18 less than the Ducks.

On Tuesday we saw the Sabres pick things up in the third period, but almost the exact opposite happened on Thursday. In the third, the Sabres had only seven shots. That won't get the job done when trailing by three goals.

Speed kills

All night the Ducks were blowing by Sabres defenders into the zone. Two of Anaheim's goals were direct results of their speed, catching Sabres defenders flat footed.

"Tough period (3rd)," Eichel told reporters after the game. "We turned too many pucks over, we didn't contain their speed, the puck ended up in the net."

Yep, that about sums it up.

Welcome back, Corey Perry

How good is this guy?

Well lately he hasn't played very well, but that all changed against the Sabres.

Perry's big night started late in the first period when he forced a turnover, carried the puck in front and beat Lehner five-hole. It was a really nice play by Perry, but the puck should've been cleared out of the zone before he stole it along the wall.

Anaheim's second goal came less than a minute into the third period with the game tied, when Perry slid a perfect pass to Rickard Rakell, who had a wide open net.

Perry's second goal of the evening (Anaheim's fourth) was a tap-in, but he followed the play and crashed the net like a true goal scorer.

Before Thursday Perry had only two goals in Anaheim's last 25 games. You knew he had to break out sometime soon.

Thursday Curse

Bad news -- The Sabres are now 1-10-2 on Thursdays this season. It's probably a coincidence, but it's amazing how much they've struggled heading into the weekend.

Good news -- The Sabres now have only three Thursday games remaining on their schedule. 

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