The Buffalo Sabres need a string of solid performances not just for the upcoming week, but for the rest of January. You can also argue that the Blue and Gold must be consistent from now until the end of the regular season if they want even a slight chance of ending their playoff drought, but if they’re going to gain momentum, it must happen this week.

The Sabres, 18-21-4, have arguably their easiest weekly schedule coming up, so it presents quite the opportunity they have needed for a while now. If they don’t play to the level of their competition, they can be nothing short of dominant in all three contests.

Jan 13, 2024; Buffalo, New York, USA;  Buffalo Sabres defenseman Ryan Johnson (33) skates up ice

What we want to see from the Buffalo Sabres in Week 15 of 2023-24

1 – A three-game winning streak

As foreshadowed in the opening section, the Sabres have no excuse but to put together their first three-game winning streak of the season. They are playing the San Jose Sharks and the Chicago Blackhawks, and neither team should give the Blue and Gold a tough time should they bring their A-game, especially at home.

Their third contest of the week comes vs. a relatively strong Tampa Bay Lightning, and they’re a group Buffalo has played very well recently. Not only is a streak finally feasible, but the fans are going to and should demand it.

2 – Another shutout win

The Sabres are facing the two worst scoring teams in the NHL, as the Sharks and Blackhawks have recorded just 88 and 97 goals, respectively, through 43 games apiece. Neither team should score over two against Buffalo, but there is also a good chance for the Blue and Gold to record another shutout win, so why not strive for one?

Most likely, we will see Devon Levi and Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen split here. Luukkonen, who already has one shutout win this year, is boasting a 0.901 save percentage and a 2.11 GAA, so he’s more likely of the duo to earn another. But, perhaps Levi will play well enough to snag the first of his NHL career.

3 – At least 12 goals (but preferably more)

The Buffalo Sabres are among the worst in the NHL in scoring this season, even if their 5-on-5 scoring is actually great compared to the rest of the league with an aGF of 95, 10 over the NHL average. Therefore, if they can stay out of the box and ironically limit their own time on the man advantage, the Sabres should have a chance to average 4.0 goals per game this week.

Just as Chicago and San Jose can’t score, they have also done a poor job defensively. The Blackhawks have given up the third-highest number of goals in the league this year and the Sharks, the highest.

Oh, and it’s probably important to point out that the Lightning are just one notch ahead of Chicago. So the time has come to stop making bad defenses and goaltending look good, and to start taking advantage of poor play.

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