5 Observations: Sabres top Flames 4-2

5 Observations: Sabres top Flames 4-2
Posted at 11:46 PM, Nov 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-21 23:49:45-05

Monday the Buffalo Sabres scored as many goals as they had in their past three games. Moral of the story -- the Sabres are now on a two-game win streak after beating the Flames 4-2. 

Five observations from Monday's win:

Offensive explosion!

Well, kind of. There's no denying the Sabres have struggled scoring goals this season.  Monday, they got what they desperately needed -- their confidence back. In the first period it was the same old song and dance, the Sabres got chances, but couldn't capitalize. Then, the Flames took two penalties on the same shift, giving Buffalo an extended two man advantage. 

Buffalo took full advantage of the opportunity and didn't look back. The party got started with a goal from Kyle Okposo, who capitalized on a perfect pass from Sam Reinhart. 33 seconds later Johan Larsson tipped in an Evander Kane shot from the point, giving the Sabres their first lead of the game.

The two quick goals clearly rattled the young Flames team and less than a minute later they found themselves shorthanded yet again. Buffalo took advantage of their fourth power play, scoring just 12 seconds later on a Matt Moulson goal. 

Marcus Foligno added a goal two minutes into the third period, giving the Sabres their two goal lead back. Foligno's goal was Buffalo's only even-strength goal of the evening. 

Reinhart revival 

This season Sam Reinhart has had a hard time finding the back of the net. Monday, he reminded us that he still has some of the slickest mitts around. On Buffalo's first goal of the night Reinhart sauced a perfect pass to Kyle Okposo in the slot.

But he wasn't done -- in the third period Reinhart won a nice battle at the boards, and was able to find Foligno in front, who scored Buffalo's fourth of the night. Reinhart may not be scoring, but he's certainly helping his teammates and Monday he took a step in the right direction. 

Lehner looks sharp 

Robin Lehner didn't make any incredible stops but had an all around solid game. Lehner finished the night with 29 saves and stopped all the shots he was supposed to stop. Crazy, right? 

On both Calgary goals Lehner was basically helpless, especially the Flames' first, which came on a 3-on-1 (that was really a 4-1 when they started entering the zone). Calgary's second goal came seconds into the third period on a perfect deflection by Matthew Tkachuk. Kudos to Flames defender Dougie Hamilton, who set up the goal with a  perfect pass.

Lehner needed a nice performance after fellow Sabres goaltender Anders Nilsson stood on his head Saturday night. He delivered, and once again showed the Sabres have two very capable goalies. 

Get Ristolainen a new stick

Seriously, the dude snaps like one stick a game and it seems like it always comes at the worst possible time. Monday it happened yet again in the first period on the Sabres first power play of the night. When the Sabres returned to the power play Ristolainen had been replaced by forward Cal O'Reilly, who joined Buffalo's first unit. When the Sabres second unit took the ice Ristolainen was still on the bench, making you wonder if Sabres coach Dan Bylsma was trying to send a message to the 21-year-old.

If that is indeed the case, it worked -- because on Buffalo's third power play Ristolainen got an assist on Buffalo's first goal and played well the rest of the game. 

Moulson stays hot

In 19 games Matt Moulson has seven goals and nine points. In 81 games last season Moulson had eight goals and 21 points. Don't look now, but Moulson is on pace to score 30 goals this season. Do I think that will happen? No, but I do think he'll get around 20, which would be a very nice rebound season for the 33-year-old forward. 

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