Ryan Dadoun

Hockey Daily Dose

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Sharks keep Sabres Winless

Friday, October 13, 2017


With a new head coach, new general manager, and an encouraging core led by Jack Eichel, the Buffalo Sabres seemed primed to have a competitive season after missing the playoffs for six consecutive campaigns.  That might still happen, but they’ve dug a little hole for themselves right off the bat by dropping their first four games.

 

There are some positives to take from Buffalo’s early games.  So far Jason Pominville’s return to the Sabres has exceeded people’s wildest expectations, Jack Eichel has chipped in a little more than a point-per-game, and Evander Kane seems primed to have a strong showing in his contract year.

 

Buffalo’s problem has been basically everything else.  Only seven players on the team have recorded a point and so far Pominville, Eichel, and Kane have accounted for literally all of Buffalo’s goals.  Meanwhile goaltenders Chad Johnson and Robin Lehner have struggled out of the gate.  The Sabres need far more support around Pominville, Eichel, and Kane if they are to get anywhere this season.

 

I’ll recap their latest loss along with the rest of Thursday’s action below:

 

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LIGHTNING 5 PENGUINS 4

 

Jake Guentzel found the back of the net and registered an assist for Pittsburgh.  He’s up to two goals and five points in five contests this season.

 

Antti Niemi surrendered five goals on 34 shots last night.  His start with the Pittsburgh Penguins couldn’t have gone much worse.  Through two appearances he has a 0-2-0 record, 7.94 GAA, and .809 save percentage.  It’s still early of course, but given how bad he was last season it wouldn’t be surprising if he doesn’t bounce back in any meaningful way.

 

At the other end of the ice, Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 36 of 40 shots.  He’s been off to a rough start too with a 3.75 GAA and .900 save percentage in four starts.

 

Slater Koekkoek scored twice with his second goal being the game winner.  It was the Lightning defenseman’s first two points in two games this season.

 

Alex Killorn assisted on four of Tampa Bay’s five goals.  He’s up to a goal and seven points in four contests.

 

PANTHERS 5 BLUES 2

 

Alex Pietrangelo assisted on both of the Blues’ markers.  That gives him two goals and eight points in five games.

 

Jared McCann scored the game-winning goal and registered an assist.  He has two goals and four points in three contests this season.

 

Aaron Ekblad also had a goal and an assist for St. Louis.  He’s just one point away from reaching the 100 milestone in his career.

 

Roberto Luongo kicked out 37 of 39 shots on Thursday.  His 454th career win tied him with Curtis Joseph for fourth place on the All-Time list.

 

Jake Allen allowed five goals on 38 Panthers shots.  He has a 3.17 GAA and .915 save percentage in four starts.

 

PREDATORS 4 STARS 1

 

Ben Bishop stopped 27 of 30 shots Thursday night.  He has a 1-1-0 record, 1.85 GAA, and .932 save percentage in three games.

 

Jamie Benn netted Dallas’ only goal.  That was his first marker and second point in four contests.

 

P.K. Subban scored a goal and registered an assist.  He’s been red hot with a goal and six points in four contests.

 

Filip Forsberg netted the game-winning goal and added an assist as well.  He’s already scored four goals this season and two of them have been GWGs.

 

Pekka Rinne kicked out 30 of 31 shots against Dallas.  He has a 2-1-0 record, 3.09 GAA, and .902 save percentage in three starts.

 

WILD 5 BLACKHAWKS 2

 

Ryan Hartman scored a goal and registered an assist for Chicago.  He’s off to an amazing start with two goals and eight points in five contests.  It’s still early, but it certainly seems reasonable to believe he’ll significantly surpass his rookie total of 31 points.

 

Corey Crawford saved 29 of 32 Wild shots.  This was his first loss in four starts this season.

 

Chris Stewart found the back of the net twice.  He has four goals and five points in three contests in 2017-18.

 

Jason Zucker accounted for the game-winning goal and recorded an assist.  This was his second straight multi-point contest.

 

Devan Dubnyk saved 36 of 38 shots last night.  He has a 1-1-0 record, 3.05 GAA, and .913 save percentage in two starts.

 

JETS 4 CANUCKS 2

 

Bryan Little assisted on two of Winnipeg’s four goals on Thursday.  Those were his second and third helpers in four games in 2017-18.

 

Tyler Myers scored the game-winning goal.  It was the Jets defenseman’s first point of the campaign.

 

Brock Boeser made his season debut on Thursday.  The Canucks rookie registered an assist in 16:31 minutes of ice time.  Unfortunately, he also had a minus-two rating.

 

Jacob Markstrom only stopped 16 of 19 shots last night.  He has a 1-1-1 record, 2.30 GAA, and .927 save percentage in three starts.

 

Connor Hellebuyck kicked out 30 of 32 shots for Winnipeg.  That gives him a 2-0-0 record, 2.59 GAA, and .927 save percentage in three contests.

 

RED WINGS 4 COYOTES 2

 

Antti Raanta got the start on Thursday and saved the nine shots he faced in the first period.  Unfortunately, he suffered a lower-body injury so Louis Domingue had to step in.  He went on to kick out 20 of 23 shots.  As for Raanta, it’s not clear how long he’ll be out, but apparently his current lower-body issue is a reoccurrence of his earlier problem during the preseason, so that makes it more concerning.

 

Mike Green assisted on two of Detroit’s four goals.  He’s been amazing so far with eight assists in four contests.

 

Luke Glendening netted the game-winning marker.  It was his first point in four games this season.

 

Jimmy Howard stopped 33 of 35 Coyotes shots.  He has a 3-0-0 record, 1.62 GAA, and .955 save percentage in three starts.

 

Max Domi assisted on both of Arizona’s goals.  He’s up to a goal and four points in four games.

 

SHARKS 3 SABRES 2

 

Jason Pominville scored both of Buffalo’s goals.  He’s up to four markers and five points in four contests this season.

 

Robin Lehner kicked out 23 of 26 Sharks shots.  He has a 0-2-1 record, 3.18 GAA, and .901 save percentage in four contests.

 

Timo Meier scored a goal and registered an assist for San Jose.  Those were his first two points of 2017-18.

 

Chris Tierney netted the game-winning goal and registered an assist.  Like Meier, those were Tierney’s first two points in three contests.

 

Martin Jones saved 23 of 25 shots last night.  He has a 1-2-0 record, 3.92 GAA, and .881 save percentage in three starts this season.



Ryan Dadoun is an Associate Editor for Hockey on Rotoworld. Feel free to follow him on Twitter or check out his blog.
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