Carolina’s special teams win the war
With the aforementioned shortie in this game being the Canes’ first of the year, the Canes edged the special teams’ fight and it meant that they were dominant at 5-on-5 in a similar aspect for the team to generate sufficient offense. Now, moving forward, the Canes might not have the most sustainable method of scoring, but it was efficient when they needed it to be.
Carolina’s powerplay allowed them to gather some momentum when the chances were presented, but they weren’t quite able to his the consistency to find the netting. They created mayhem and havoc in front of the Sabres netminders, but they never found the finishing touch. However, that doesn’t mean they didn’t kickstart the offense.
A lot of the Canes’ goals came from expired powerplays and being able to expose dog-tired defenses without tiring their offense, and that means good puck possession, forcing teams to move and move quickly. Carolina can generate scoring chances, it’s finishing them that presents chances, and they were able to nibble away at the Sabres defense making it bend and bend until it broke.
If you have ever questioned the Canes penalty kill, you need to learn how to kill penalties. This team is in the box so often, all but 1 D man and 2 forwards kill penalties. They’re able to deal with almost any group of forwards in the NHL, and they can deal with vast amounts of time shorthanded, and can even take the game to their opponents. They’re an incredibly well-coached unit.