Sabres: 3 takeaways from ugly loss to Capitals

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Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images

The Buffalo Sabres got blown out by the Washington Capitals in their first game in November, losing 6-1. What can they take away from it?

After an impressive October, the Buffalo Sabres began a critical month of November on Friday, Nov. 1, against the Washington Capitals. It was a chance for them to prove they’re different than last year, when they started off strong, but couldn’t keep it up. If Friday was a test, the Sabres failed it, as the Capitals beat them 6-1.

From the opening whistle, the Caps dominated the first period. Jakub Vrana scored twice and Brendan Leipsic and Chandler Stephenson each added goals as they scored four goals in just over four minutes. Buffalo had been working on their defensive coverages ahead of the game, but in each of those four goals, there were defensive breakdowns.

On the bright side, defenseman Henri Jokiharju scored his first career NHL goal to keep the Sabres from getting shut out. And Buffalo only committed one penalty. They get a chance to quickly turn things around, as they face the New York Islanders on Saturday night.

What can be taken away from such an ugly game? Let’s take a look.

3. Power Play Let Down

The Sabres entered Friday with the third-best power play in the NHL, converting on 29.8% of their chances. They got an early chance to show off their prowess, as Dmitry Orlov committed a penalty less than three minutes into the game. However, they only got one shot on goal.

This kill wound up giving the Capitals momentum, and they ran with it. The Capitals’ four goals in four minutes started less than two minutes after the kill ended. Buffalo failed to score on their other power play in the third period. Credit Washington for playing a disciplined game and taking away the Sabres’ top weapon.

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