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5 observations from Sabres 1-0 win over Leafs

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Posted at 11:05 PM, Sep 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-29 23:05:31-04

It wasn’t pretty, but on Thursday the Buffalo Sabres moved to 2-1 in the preseason, with a 1-0 shootout win over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Matt Moulson was the hero, ending things for the Sabres in the fourth round of the shootout. Goaltender Anders Nilsson stopped every shot he faced (23) including four shots in the shootout. The Sabres dominated in the shot department, generating 38, but were unable to get on the board in regulation. Five observations from Thursday’s game:

Hudson Fasching: Half human, half grizzly bear

During the first period I tweeted a picture of a bear catching a fish in its mouth. Thursday against the Leafs, Hudson Fasching was the bear and the Leafs were the fish. He dominated possession behind the net and generated multiple scoring chances throughout the game. The 21-year-old was using all of his 6’2” 216 lb frame and was one of the best players on the ice, especially early in the game. If Fasching is going to make the Sabres he’ll need to continue to be a nightmare for opposing teams. I don’t necessarily think his numbers will jump off the page from the start, but over time that should come.

Taking sibling rivalry to another level

The first chapter of Alex Nylander vs Willie Nylander goes to the Sabres 2016 first round pick (Alex). In the first period, Alex Nylander had several scoring chances -- including a play where he streaked down the boards beating a Leafs defender, firing a laser off the post. Regardless of tonight, It’s going to be very fun over the next few years watching these brothers develop. Both Willie (Toronto) and Alex (Buffalo) missed on their shootout attempts but it’s clear, they have a ton of skill and potential — adding another storyline to every Sabres and Leafs game.

Where’s Matt Moulson?

Oh, there he is! Moulson sealed things off for the Sabres in shootout, securing the 1-0 win. Moulson started slow -- but generated some chances in the second and third period. Moulson will surely need to keep the momentum going if he's going to return to the player he was in 2013 — but Thursday was a step in the right direction.

Anders Nilsson continues to impress

Since training camp opened Anders Nilsson has looked out of this world. The newly acquired goalie said he is just trying to stop the puck and get better every day. So far, he’s doing a great job. During the Sabres first preseason game Nilsson let in one goal on a weird rebound and that was it. Thursday, Nilsson stopped 23 shots, including all four of Toronto’s in the shootout. In two preseason games and two scrimmages Nilsson has allowed only one goal. Seriously, one goal. Nilsson won’t be the starter opening night but having two goaltenders that can play is a good thing. A very good thing.

The Sabres can’t figure out the power play

Three games into the preseason and the Sabres have yet to score a power play goal. The Sabres are an abysmal 0-16 so far on the power play and it’s something head coach Dan Bylsma knows is hurting them. After Thursday’s game he joked that the Sabres would probably have a power play goal if Jack Eichel was playing. He’s probably not wrong. It’s certainly concerning, but not something Sabres fans should worry too much about.

The Buffalo Sabres play the Toronto Maple Leafs again Friday night at Key Bank Center. Puck drop is at 7 p.m.