The Buffalo Sabres managed to end one slump, netting a goal in the first period to cap their scoreless streak at 126:22 minutes. They also outshot the New York Islanders 37-26, including an 18-2 edge in the second period.
In the end, however, it wasn’t enough as the Islanders left HSBC Arena with a 4-2 win leaving the Sabres continue to ride a five-game losing skid.
“We’re in tough right now,” Lindy Ruff said. “We did some good things, but we didn’t do enough… We got caught and had to scramble a little bit, we took the first four penalties of the game… we had some guys that really put in a good effort but it just wasn’t enough.”
The Sabres have consistently recorded more shots than their opponent throughout the losing streak with a 129-98 margin. In that span, however, they have tallied only nine goals.
“I know it looked lopsided for two periods but still on the offensive side of it we could have done some things a little bit better,” Ruff said. “We could have kept our feet moving on a couple of situations that maybe would have made an even better chance.”
“We’ve just got to keep putting pucks on net,” Jason Pominville
said. “They got good bounces and we’re not getting good bounces. That’s when you have to work harder and keep doing those things. Keep throwing pucks to the net and eventually we will get rewarded.”
“We’ve got to stick with it. Obviously there are areas where we can improve. We know that. We’ll get a few days of practice here and we’ve got to be better… this can’t keep going the way it has. Whether it’s scoring goals or bearing down defensively as a team we have to sharpen up and we know that.”
The Sabres continue their four-game home stand Wednesday night against the Boston Bruins at 7 p.m.
“We’re going to have to work harder; we’re going to have to find ways to work a little bit harder, make a difference. That’s the bottom line,” Ruff said. “We had guys that really put in a good effort and I thought there were efforts that were subpar in a game like that.
Mark Mancari net his first NHL goal on the night in his second game with the Sabres this season.
“It’s a great relief,” Mancari said. “Now I just want to go forward and try to win some games.”
Until Mancari lit the lamp, the Sabres had not scored since Nov. 19 when Thomas Vanek
registered a power play goal midway through the first period of a 7-4 loss to the Bruins.
The 23 year old is currently second in the AHL in scoring with 25 points (11+14) in 14 games.
He has six multi-point games this season, including a five-point (3+2) outing in Portland’s season opener on Oct. 11 vs. Manchester. Mancari was named the AHL’s Player of the Week for the period ending Nov. 9, when he tallied eight points (4+4) in three games.
Saturday’s game marks Buffalo’s fourth of 17 sets of back-to-back games this season. In 2007-08 they played a league-high 20 sets. They were 12-8 in the first game and 10-9-1 in the second.