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Sharpen Up: March 1, 2021 | Sabres will try to right the ship on the road

Following back-to-back shutout losses, Buffalo preps for 9-day trip

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak /

The Buffalo Sabres will look for a fresh start on the road. 

Following a back-to-back set against the Philadelphia Flyers at home where the Flyers won both games by a score of 3-0, the Sabres find themselves about to venture out for a five-game road trip to begin the month of March.

This afternoon, the Sabres will travel to New York where they'll take on the Rangers on Tuesday at Madison Square Garden. 

Here's what you need to know.


Looking back at yesterday

Video: BUF Recap: Sabres lose to Flyers for 2nd straight day

The Flyers scored three times in the second period yesterday to come away with the 3-0 win. Buffalo has not scored in the last 125:47 of play.

Video: POSTGAME: Dahlin

Rasmus Dahlin gave an honest assessment of the Buffalo Sabres' performance. 

"The team we have in the locker room can do something very special," the 20-year-old defenseman said. "We have to find the competitiveness in the team. We will keep losing if no one is competing. Do all the gritty stuff. Hit someone. A fight. I don't know. But the team we have right now should not be losing like that."

 "I've very embarrassed," he added later. "This is not acceptable."

You can read more in our Postgame Report.

Video: POSTGAME: Johansson

Jonas Johansson made his first start of the season and made a career-high 35 saves between the pipes. He and Carter Hutton will be expected to carry the load in net for Buffalo as Linus Ullmark will miss about a month's worth of games due to a lower-body injury. 

Jack Eichel returned to the lineup after missing the last two games with a lower-body injury. He recorded three shots on eight attempts in 22:18 of action. 

The Sabres wrapped up the month of February with a record of 2-6-1. They did not play for the 14 days of the month due to a COVID-19 outbreak. Buffalo has been shut out four times this season and three times in February. They were outscored 25-14 over the course of the month.

Video: POSTGAME: Krueger

"It's serious, what we have as a challenge ahead of us," head coach Ralph Krueger said. "It's serious, what we need to do to fix this. We need to communicate and [find] a clarified pathway. We need to do a refresh where we can find a window here on what the principles are that we all embraced early in the season through training camp and into the start of the season."

Buffalo is currently in last place in the East Division with 15 points in 19 games (.395 points percentage). They're 10 points behind the Flyers for the final playoff spot in the division. Philadelphia (.694 points percentage) has played one fewer game. The Sabres are 6-10-3 on the season and 2-7-2 on home ice

Video: POSTGAME: Eichel

"The guys have stuck together, no one's turned on each other, it's a positive mindset," Eichel said. "It's just, currently, it's not working for us. No one feels sorry for us in this league. We don't feel sorry for ourselves. We just need to dig ourselves out of this and find a way to feel good about our game, feel good about ourselves and enjoy it."

Check out the Postgame Report for more on yesterday's game.

Upcoming schedule

Starting Tuesday, Buffalo will play five games in eight days while on the road, including three in a row against the New York Islanders:

  • Tuesday, March 2 at New York Rangers (7 p.m.)
  • Thursday, March 4 at New York Islanders (7 p.m.)
  • Saturday, March 6 at New York Islanders (1 p.m.)
  • Sunday, March 7 at New York Islanders (Noon)
  • Tuesday, March 9 at Philadelphia Flyers (7 p.m.)

"It's not going to be pretty to turn this," Krueger said. "The emotions we can get and the good feeling we can get out of success would be needed right now to sustain any type of winning feeling, but we won't get it easy. 

"The Rangers will be waiting hungry on Tuesday to try to keep us where we're at right now and it's going to be about character, it's going to be about fight, it's going to be about grit and hard work within the right framework, of course. It is a challenge. There's a wall ahead of us and we've got to climb over it, and we've got to climb over it together."

During the month of March, the Sabres will play 17 games in 31 days and have no more than one day between each game.

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