OPINION: Three Observations: Power play propels Sabres to win

Linus Ullmark comes up big in overtime and the shootout; power play converts three times in Sabres' win
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By WGR 550 SportsRadio

It took until their fourth meeting, but the Buffalo Sabres finally figured out the Washington Capitals on Sunday afternoon at Capital One Arena, securing a 4-3 shootout victory.

Jack Eichel put the Sabres up in the first round of the shootout, while goaltender Linus Ullmark stopped all three Capitals shooter faced to secure win No. 2 of the season.

Buffalo also saw major contributions from their power play with three goals on five attempts, while Ullmark made some timely saves when they needed them.

Let's talk about the things we observed in this win:

1.) Power play a big factor in Sabres offense

Six games into the 2020-21 season, the success or failure of the power play has typically been the story of each game.

In this edition, Buffalo converted on 3-of-5 chances, with defenseman Colin Miller and forward Victor Olofsson getting goals in the second period, and forward Eric Staal adding one in the third.

The Capitals converted two chances of their own on the power play with goals from T.J. Oshie and Nicklas Backstrom.

2.) Ullmark wants a couple back, but made some timely saves

Ullmark made his second straight start for the Sabres in net on Sunday with nearly similar results as to what happened on Friday night. The 27-year-old netminder made 28 saves, including four overtime saves, two of which came on the rush. While he may want the goal he let up in the third period to Backstrom back, Ullmark came through when the Sabres needed him most.

The Sabres will learn more about the status of goaltender Carter Hutton later this week. Hutton remains day-to-day after a collision with Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov on Tuesday night.

3.) Rasmus Ristolainen continues to impress early

Ristolainen's assist on Colin Miller's second period goal allowed him to pass Jim Schoenfeld for sole possession of the seventh-most career points recorded by a Sabres defenseman with 229. Ristolainen has looked very good since the Sabres' return to play. He led all Sabres defensemen in time-on-ice with 24:13 played.

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The Sabres will travel home and get the day off before the New York Rangers come to the KeyBank Center on Tuesday night. Faceoff is set for 7 p.m. EST and can be heard on the radio home of the Sabres - WGR Sports Radio 550.

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