BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — 1980's night brought a unique look and a host of Sabres alumni to KeyBank Center. It also delivered a 4-3 win over the Nashville Predators. Jack Eichel was electric once again with two goals; Victor Olofsson scored the game winner off his own rebound in the third period. Defensively, Linus Ullmark made 36 saves. The Sabres' next game is on the road against the New York Islanders at 1:00 p.m.
Five observations from Thursday's game:
Bogo wants to go
The return of Rasmus Dahlin really showcases the depth that that the Sabres truly have at the blue line. Depending on who you ask, it's not exactly all quality depth, but it's never been a clear-cut given which six will be on the ice.
Zach Bogosian wasn't out there tonight. The veteran was a healthy scratch. According to TSN, he requested a trade. You can't really blame him; he came back to a completely different group of defensemen compared to when he got hurt last year.
If the rumor is true, then I'd imagine it's something that the option will be explored. Even if Bogosian plays in a few games to showcase him before a deal gets made, there's still plenty of depth to go around: John Gilmour and Lawrence Pilut are both still in Rochester.
Wind out of their sails
Jimmy Vesey's first period brought the KeyBank Center to life. But Buffalo didn't even hold a lead for a minute. Colton Sissons answered Vesey's tally after 59 seconds of play to put the Predators back out in front.
A one goal-game as opposed to a tie might not drastically change the approach that early in the contest. But it definitely changed the mood in the arena. Giving up a goal that soon after getting one is a recipe for disaster.
A look to stick with
Without even numbers at forward and on the blue line, the lines seem to shuffle constantly to get everyone onto the ice and keep fresh legs on the ice. Officially, to start the game, Dahlin was the defenseman without a partner and Jeff Skinner & Evan Rodrgiues were the forwards without another winger.
But the combination of Skinner, Marcus Johansson, and Jimmy Vesey produced some great things: The three of them are all NHL regulars and unafraid to shoot the puck. Throughout the game, that group seemed to find a way to the front of the net. It led to Buffalo's first goal, so it could be a group we see more in the future.
Dahlin is back
He wasn't the best defenseman out there. He wasn't the worst, either. But there were times when Rasmus Dahlin looked frustrated with himself. After finishing a shift, he'd hang his head on the bench or kick his stick after Linus Ullmark froze the puck.
Throughout the Sabres' locker room, Dahlin is known to be hard on himself. The pressure he puts on himself is likely comparable to the external pressure of being last year's first overall pick. He had an assist, resumed his power play duties and, for the most part, looked sound defensively tonight.
Better to be lucky
There were open nets and blown chances from Nashville in all three periods. After enough rebounds, Linus Ullmark would find himself way out of position. The puck kicked around the low slot and the crease until one way or another, it eventually was cleared.
Whether it was a clear or a sprawling save by Ullmark, Buffalo was able to get out of trouble in those instances. But the Predators easily could've had at least three more goals from those haphazard situations in front of the net tonight.