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5 Observations: Islanders beat Sabres 5-2

5 Observations: Islanders beat Sabres 5-2
Posted at 9:28 PM, Mar 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-04 21:28:58-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. [WKBW] — For the fourth time this season the New York Islanders knocked off the Buffalo Sabres, this time 5-2. With the loss, the Sabres fall to 6-12-3 on the season.

5 Observations from Thursday's loss:

As expected

The Sabres are now 0-4 this season against the Islanders. In those four games, they’ve scored just five goals. Right now the Islanders own the Sabres in every aspect of the game. With two more matchups on the horizon this weekend, it’s not looking like the Sabres will be snapping their losing streak anytime soon.

Finally a goal

For the first time since the season opener, Taylor Hall found the back of the net. Coincidentally, the goal came on a rush, which was something he talked about taking advantage of Thursday morning when he spoke with reporters. Hall has been a disappointment in the first 20 games of the season but he’s still one of the Sabres most dangerous players. With nearly two-thirds of the season left to play, Hall still has time to turn it on and become a goal scorer this team can count on.

Oh no no no no no

When you watch the Sabres give up goals from behind their goal line you start to wonder if this team is just cursed. In the first period, already trailing 1-0, Matt Martin took a shot from a really strange angle and it went off Johansson’s head and into the net. Johansson wasn't the reason the Sabres lost tonight but you could bet he'd want this goal back. His ears may still be ringing.

Shooting gallery

We’ve heard the Sabres say so many times this year that they need to simplify their game. One of the most obvious ways of trying to do that is by getting pucks to the net [cliché, I know] and trying to score some greasy garbage goals. Yet once again the Sabres were grossly outshot by their opponent. Give the Islanders credit, they do a great job getting into shooting lanes, but the Sabres can’t expect anything to change if they’re going to get out-shot 45-18.

Just tackle the guy

Rasmus Ristolainen was having a really strong start to the season and then, like plenty of his teammates, he contracted COVID-19. Since his return, he’s struggled defensively.

In the second period, Ristolainen made a bad turnover at the blue line that led to a breakaway in the opposite direction. Ristolainen couldn’t catch Anthony Beauvillier who made it a 3-1 game as he beat Johansson with a nice deke. But rather than Ristolainen trying to chase down Beauvillier, I would’ve like to see him just take him down. You never want to take a penalty, but if Ristolainen would’ve done it in the neutral zone, it would’ve been a two-minute penalty and not a penalty shot. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather try and kill a penalty than stop a breakaway.