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5 Observations: Stars stomp Sabres 7-1

Posted at 4:24 PM, Jan 20, 2018

In their first meeting this season, the Dallas Stars jumped out to a 4-0 lead over the Buffalo Sabres just 13 minutes into the game. Believe it or not, Saturday's matinee was even uglier. Dallas scored four goals in the second period on their way to a 7-1 win. With the loss, the Sabres remain firmly in the basement of the Eastern Conference with 31 points in 46 games [11-26-9].  

Five observations from Saturday's ugly loss: 

Downward spiral 

Just when we didn't think this season could get any worse the Sabres told us to hold their beer. Pick any synonym for terrible and that applies perfectly to the Sabres efforts on Saturday. 

After falling behind 3-0 the Sabres gave fans a glimmer of hope as Sam Reinhart scored on the power play to make it a two-goal game. But wouldn't you know it, the Stars responded less than a minute later, regaining their three-goal lead.

If Buffalo has been good at anything this year it has been allowing their opponent to score almost immediately after they themselves find the back of the net. For my money, this was one of the Sabres most uninspired games this season, which is saying a lot. 

The reaction

Like so many of you, I was curious to see how Sabres head coach Phil Housley would respond after the loss. He didn't hold back. 

"Well, it just really tells me a lot about the individuals on the team," Housley said when asked if this was the low point. You can hear the entire post-game interview in the video attached. 

Problems in the blue paint 

After Dallas scored their fourth goal of the afternoon Sabres goaltender Robin Lehner was given the rest of the day off. As he skated to the bench fans cheered as backup Chad Johnson came in for relief. Johnson didn't do much better, allowing three goals himself. Touchdown Stars, the extra-point is good!

Both Lehner and Johnson struggled on Saturday, that was obvious, but they also didn't get any help from the players in front of them. Take any goalie in the league and put them in net for the Sabres on Saturday and I guarantee the Stars would've still won. Sure, it probably would've been a closer game but it wouldn't have changed the outcome. The Sabres have a lot of problems and on Saturday that was evident -- goaltenders included. 

Do Something Botterill 

For the past several seasons there has been a season-ticket holder that sits in section 317 that yells "Do something Murray/Botterill" when things get ugly. Somehow, someway, he still has his voice because he's yelled a lot. 

His wish may soon come true. With how bad things have gotten I wouldn't be surprised if Botterill starts to make some deals. Circle February 26 on your calendar, that's the date of this year's trade deadline. There's a very good chance this will be a busy few weeks. 

Another slow start

At KeyBank Center, the shots registered by both teams are usually displayed on the scoreboard at center ice and behind both nets. For whatever reason, those scoreboards weren't working during the first ten minutes of the game. That's probably not a bad thing, considering the Stars were outshooting the Sabres 10-1 when the scoreboards finally turned on.

Buffalo eventually cut into their shot deficit, finishing the period with only three fewer shots than the Stars. Unfortunately for the Sabres, they trailed 2-0 in the only category that really matters after 20 minutes. 

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