BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Buffalo Sabres struck first and never looked back, starting the 2019-2020 season off with a 3-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday night.
Conor Sheary scored twice while Carter Hutton made 27 saves in the win. The Sabres will be back at home on Saturday when they host the New Jersey Devils.
Sheary vs. the Penguins
When I put a poll on Twitter Thursday afternoon asking who would score the first goal of the season, a handful of people said Conor Sheary. The second-year Sabre has done well against his former team while wearing blue and gold and it continued in the season opener. Sheary took a beautiful pass from Casey Mittelstadt just minutes into the first period to put the Sabres on the board first and added another in the second period on the power play. He's recorded six points (four goals, two assists) in his first four games against his former team and we can probably expect his solid play to continue when the two teams play each other again in February and March.
Shots, shots, shots, shots, shots, shots... Everybody!
Get pucks to the net and good things will happen. We saw the Sabres attack the net, we saw them apply pressure, and we saw them do something they didn't do too much of last season. The Sabres weren't afraid to shoot the puck on Thursday night, especially early on where they were dominant. In fact at the 11:00 mark in the first period, they had 14 shots already compared to Pittsburgh's three and had a 30-18 edge heading into the third period. The shots eventually evened out a little more but it was nice to see the Sabres actually SHOOT the puck and be more aggressive in front of the net.
A sign of good things to come
The Sabres were aggressive, they were shooting the puck, they were applying pressure, and they just had a different feel and look to them. Like every team there's still things they can certainly improve on but the performance we saw on Thursday is something to be excited about. The players have talked highly of new head coach Ralph Krueger and the energy he brings to the ice and so far, you can see the difference and discipline this team plays with. Here's to seeing if the team can keep up that energy all season long.