The Sabres went 1-1-1 on its Western Canadian Road Trip where they played the Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames and Vancouver Canucks. Kyle Okposo missed the Sabres’ season opener due to a lower body injury, but returned to the lineup against the Oilers. Okposo had an immediate impact as he helped to lead the Sabres to a win over the Oilers with a goal and an assist. He will need to help fill the gap in the offense with Jack Eichel out of the lineup. Buffalo lost to Calgary in overtime and then lost to the Canucks in regulation.
The Sabres’ special teams are off to a decent start. The power play has scored four goals in 21 opportunities (19.0%). They are 3-for-16 on the power play while on the road, and have one power play goal in five opportunities at home. The penalty kill has only allowed one power play goal against in 14 chances (92.8%). Their power play ranks in the top 15 of the league, while the penalty kill is in the top 10 of the NHL.
The Stars are dealing with the injury bug early in the season. Patrick Sharp is out with concussion-like symptoms after he got hit in a game against the Los Angeles Kings. Jiri Hudler was placed on injured reserve because he is dealing with an illness. Mattias Janmark had to have offseason knee surgery and is expected to miss five to six months. Cody Eakin is out of the lineup because of a knee injury and Patrick Eaves missed the game against the Blue Jackets because of a lower body injury.
Dallas also announced that they will continue to wear a purple Hockey Fights Cancer sticker on the back of their helmets for the remainder of the season. The team will wear the stickers in honor of its play-by-play man, Dave Strader, who was diagnosed with cancer in the offseason. The NHL founded the Hockey Fights Cancer initiative in 1998 to raise money and awareness for cancer. Every NHL team has a Hockey Fights Cancer night at its home arena, and the Stars was on Thursday night against the Kings.
The Flyers got Brayden Schenn back from suspension and received word that they’ll be without Dale Weise for the next three games. Weise served the first game of his suspension on Saturday night when the Flyers took on the Hurricanes. He was suspended for an illegal check to the head of Anaheim Ducks defenseman, Korbinian Holzer. Weise left his feet and hit Holzer in the head. There was no penalty called by the officials during the game, but the League reviewed the hit and felt it warranted supplemental discipline.
Philadelphia finally got its first win at home after losing the home opener to Anaheim. They beat the Hurricanes 6-3 and scored four goals in the second period. Matt Read has five goals in five games as he is looking to bounce back from two subpar seasons. Ivan Provorov had his first career multipoint game in the NHL. Philadelphia only has one first period goal in five games this season, and have gotten off to slow starts in all five of their games.
Tampa Bay Lightning
The Tampa Bay Lightning have gotten off to some slow starts early in games this week. They gave up the first goal in two of three games played. The Bolts let the Florida Panthers score the first goal, but came back to tie the game with 5.5 seconds left in regulation courtesy of Steven Stamkos. Brayden Point scored the game winning goal in the shootout. Tampa Bay suffered its first loss of the season against the Colorado Avalanche, but bounced back the next game to beat the Senators.
Toronto Maple Leafs
The Maple Leafs went out and acquired its starting goalie for what they believed was the present and the future, but Frederik Andersen hasn’t had the best start to the season. Yes, the Maple Leafs are a young team and haven’t been playing its best in front of Andersen, but the goalie has let in some soft goals. He needs to tighten up and not allow those because he is playing behind a young team who will give up chances. Andersen’s going to have to be better and improve because the Leafs will need him to steal some games for them.
The Leafs have had trouble holding onto leads so far this year. The team is young, but the defense also needs to be a little better especially Matt Hunwick, who has been struggling. They blew a 4-0 lead against the Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday night and eventually lost in overtime when rookie Patrik Laine scored the game-winning goal to complete his hat trick. Then on Thursday night they had a 2-1 lead over the Minnesota Wild heading into the third period, but lost 3-2. Finally, on Saturday night they gave up a 4-2 third period lead and lost to the Chicago Blackhawks in a shootout.