Game 58: Taking care of business when business gets tough
The Buffalo Sabres' 7-4 win over the Washington Capitals made it a three-game win streak with additional difficulty added to the equation via injury.
BUFFALO — Every game has a story, and not just the story of the game itself. There are dramas baked into the entirety of the game in any moment. There are player rivalries, team rivalries, superstars facing off against each other, and then anything else that helps set a narrative during the game.
For the Buffalo Sabres, the story came pregame when the team announced Alex Tuch would be out week-to-week with a lower-body injury and Rasmus Dahlin would be out of Sunday’s vital playoff-race tilt against the Washington Capitals. Tuch is out long-term and Dahlin is day-to-day, but in a must-win type of game against a team they’re in direct competition with for the postseason, it was not the news anyone in Buffalo wanted to hear.
Rather than the straightforward question of how the team will handle a need-to-win situation in general it turned into how they’re going to do that without two of their top scorers. If Sunday was any indication of how things might go, they’ll be just fine.
The Sabres blitzed the Capitals in a game more reminiscent of something out of 1983 than 2023 and took home a 7-4 decision. Dylan Cozens had a hat trick and four points, Tage Thompson scored his 40th goal of the season, and Jack Quinn’s promotion to the first line in Tuch’s stead was dazzling.
Sure, there are negatives that come out of a game like that. The defensive coverage was lacking and some of Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen’s goaltending left a bit to be desired, but throwing a wet blanket on top of an effort like Sunday’s would be some real sour puss nonsense considering what they’ve accomplished in the past three games.
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