The Buffalo Sabres came out strong with a lot of energy on Monday night against the New York Islanders at KeyBank Center. However, after the first 15 or so minutes, the Sabres played like a team that hadn't played a game in 15 days.
The Islanders got the advantage with a couple of quick goals late in the first period, and the team never looked back from there.
Let's take a look at three observations from the game:
1.) Power play remains hot with goals in six-straight games
Buffalo's only offensive contribution came on the power play, something that's been a story all season. Victor Olofsson found himself wide-open from his typical spot on the right circle and fired the puck past goalie Semyon Varlamov to bring the Sabres to within a goal in the second period, 2-1.
Buffalo had a second opportunity on the power play at the end of the second period and the beginning of the third, but they would not convert, and they would not get any other chances.
2.) Islanders' smothering style prevents Buffalo from taking a shot in the third period
Opening the third period on the power play, the Sabres had a chance to set the tone for the period to claw their way back from a two-goal deficit. Buffalo was not able to generate any chances with their opportunity, and worse, they couldn't even muster a shot on goal in the entire third period.
The Islanders shot the puck 12 times in the third, controlling practically all of the play. The Sabres couldn't generate any momentum after their second power play opportunity, immediately handing the Islanders their own chance with the man advantage and allowing them to take control for the rest of the game.
3.) Sabres fail to convert again at 5-on-5
The Sabres have been pretty shaky to start the season with their 5-on-5 play. Buffalo was only able to generate 21 shots for the entire game, while golatender Linus Ullmark allowed three goals on the 29 shots he face.
Part of Buffalo's 5-on-5 struggles come from shaky goaltending. The Sabres could have really used a stop from Ullmark on the Islanders' second goal from Jean-Gabriel Pageau. Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin kept Pageau to the outside, but the forward was able to find space to get it by the Sabres goaltender.
Buffalo gets another chance at this same Islanders team on Tuesday night at KeyBank Center. Tune in for the Paul William Beltz Pregame Show with Mike Schopp and the Bulldog starting at 6 p.m. EST with puck drop taking place at 7 p.m. EST.
Don't forget to check back after every Sabres game with our observations from the game.