Last season was a tale of two extremes for the Buffalo Sabres power play, and the turning point can be traced to Jan. 1.
From opening night through the end of December, the Sabres' had the least productive power play in the league, tying Columbus with a league-low 14 goals. They were among the best from Jan. 1 on, tying Boston with a league-high 35 goals in 44 games.
The latter performance was more reminiscent of the year prior, when the Sabres scored at a league-best 24.5-percent clip with the extra man. It came down to the same five players, too: Rasmus Ristolainen at the point, Sam Reinhart at the net-front and Jack Eichel, Kyle Okposo and Ryan O'Reilly - now in St. Louis - between them.
The improvement, Sabres coach Phil Housley said, stemmed from the group's shot mentality.