5 Observations: Sabres fall to Devils 2-1

5 Observations: Sabres fall to Devils 2-1
Posted at 10:18 PM, Feb 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-06 22:18:40-05

With a win, the Buffalo Sabres had an opportunity to leapfrog two teams in the standings. Instead, they fell into a tie for last place in the Eastern Conference with a 2-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils.

Five observations from Tuesday's loss:

Another stellar performance by Robin Lehner

Lehner turned away 37 of the 39 shots he faced on Tuesday night but it wasn't enough to earn his second straight win.

In his last three games, he's stopped 116 of the 120 shots he's faced, yet he only has a 1-1-1 record.

Let's be real -- this is the best Lehner has played during a three-game span all season, but the Sabres haven't capitalized because of a lack of scoring. One goal in two of the past three games isn't going to cut it.


So why aren't they scoring more?

They aren't shooting the puck enough.

On Tuesday the Sabres managed only 23 shots, 16 less than the Devils.

In the third period, the Sabres finished with only seven shots. That can't happen, especially when you enter the period down a goal.

Buffalo's only goal of the evening came on a weird 'spin-o-rama' shot from Tyler Ennis. Kudos to him for throwing something at the net and getting rewarded for it. When you're having a hard time scoring, pucks to the net is usually the best remedy.

Don't get me wrong, the Sabres are finding the back of the net far more than they were at the beginning of the season, but they've had a bit of a rough stretch.

'Mini' drought

Jack Eichel hasn't scored since his gorgeous OT goal against the Predators two weeks ago.

No, I'm not going to be the guy that says he's the problem because he's not, but the Sabres will need him to start scoring soon. Almost every goal scorer goes through these 'mini' droughts and Eichel is no exception.

Realistically, he could probably have three or four goals during the span, they just aren't going in. If he keeps doing what he's doing he'll score soon.

Another clunker of a second period

The Sabres just can't seem to figure out the second period. On Tuesday the Devils out-shot the Sabres 19-11 in the middle frame, but really controlled play and limited Buffalo's chances in the first 15 minutes of the period.

The second period has been a problem for the Sabres all year and the numbers speak for themselves.

Buffalo's season long goal differential: -18
Buffalo's second-period goal differential: -18

They need to be better in the second period if they're going to make a push.

Especially poor special teams

New Jersey scored both of their goals on the power play and finished the night 2-for-4 with the man advantage.

Both goals came after penalties by Sabres forward Evander Kane. The first penalty I don't have a huge problem with, Kane stood up for his teammate after Zemgus Girgensons got rocked in the second period. However, the second penalty can't happen. Some will say it was unlucky that his stick flew up into the air and hit Taylor Hall's face, but Kane has to play smarter there and control his stick.

Kane is one of the Sabres better penalty killers, so when he's in the box the Sabres have an even harder time containing the opposition. 

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