5 Observations: Sabres take down Coyotes 6-3

5 Observations: Sabres take down Coyotes 6-3
Posted at 10:44 PM, Mar 02, 2017

At this point in the season, almost every game for the Buffalo Sabres is a must-win. In the third period, things didn't look great when the Arizona Coyotes tied things up, but the Sabres rallied, snapping their four-game losing streak with a 6-3 win.

Five observations from Thursday's win:

Another blown lead.....kind of

When Arizona tied things late the entire arena collectively sighed, and while I can't read minds, I'd imagine everyone was thinking "not this again."

Luckily for the Sabres, Evander Kane, the even strength scoring machine, buried a perfect Ryan O'Reilly pass to regain control with less than six minutes to play.

Another blown lead to a struggling hockey team would've been devastating, so kudos to the Sabres for 'rallying' after giving up the tying goal.

It wasn't pretty, but they got the job done.


Sabres first period shots: 12
Coyotes first period shots: 4

Arizona 1 -- Buffalo 1

Something isn't right here. The Sabres controlled play for almost the entire first 20 minutes, but some sloppy plays and missed opportunities ultimately cost them.

Arizona struck first after Kyle Okposo, O'Reilly and Tyler Ennis failed to convert on several chances from right in front of the 'Yotes net. The line got cute and Okposo slid a pass to the blueline anticipating there would be a defender there to keep the puck in. That wasn't the case, and Arizona took a two-on-one in the other direction, beating Robin Lehner on a nice give-and-go.

Buffalo responded a few minutes later with their second shorthanded goal of the year courtesy Marcus Foligno. Although Foligno got the goal, O'Reilly deserves credit for outmuscling two Coyotes defenders and making them look silly.

Aside from some minor miscues, it was a good start for the Sabres.

^^^ Read that again for second-period summary

Just kidding, but how in the world does get outshot 19-6 in a period and only trail by one goal. Remember a few years ago when the Sabres would go entire games with only 19 shots? Yeah, me too. #EmbraceTheTank.

Like the Sabres in the first period, Arizona capitalized on a sloppy play by Eichel and O'Reilly to tie things at 2 shorthanded. Not often do you see both teams score shorthanded in the same game.

Just let this sink in....

Shots after TWO periods:

Coyotes -- 10
Sabres -- 31

Super 2's

It was a good game to be a Sabres second overall pick. Both Eichel and Sam Reinhart had impressive games against the Coyotes, creating scoring chances almost every time they were on the ice.

Excluding the aforementioned turnover by Eichel, he was dominant, extending his point streak to eight games with a goal and two assists on Thursday. Eichel now has 11 points in the Sabres last eight games [2G, 9A], along with the second most points league-wide since February 1 [19P, 3G, 16A].

Only to be slightly outdone (at least on the scoresheet), Reinhart finished the night with a goal and an assist. He also had a play many will forget, but Reinhart drew a penalty that led to a Sabres goal with a great individual effort. Reinhart kept the puck along the boards, getting knocked down several times before he was eventually taken down by a trip. He was like the little engine that could.

Really nice game for the #2's.

And by the way, Jack Eichel now has 40 points in 43 games. Everything is fine.

O, O, O, O'Reillyyyyyyyyy

This was O'Reilly's best game in a while. It certainly doesn't hurt that he was playing against the 'Yotes, but his goal and two assists gave the Sabres a serious spark.

A perfect spin-o-rama pass on the Evander Kane goal proved to be the game-clincher, and his effort on Buffalo's first of the game (mentioned earlier) was truly special.

It was a night when the stars shined for the Sabres, something they'll need moving forward.

*Note* Kyle Okposo left the game early after getting hit in the ribs. He is getting x-rays to evaluate the injury. The Sabres can't afford to lose him, especially now.