BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Led in part by rookie winger Victor Olofsson, the Sabres currently lead the NHL with eight power play goals.
Olofsson picked up his sixth career tally on the man-advantage in Wednesday’s overtime win against the Canadiens and joined four other players in NHL history with the first six goals of his career coming courtesy of the power play.
“It’s always fun to have some type of record,” Olofsson said. “I want create more 5-on-5 too though and score some 5-on-5 for us.”
“It’s fun to watch him. He’s playing with confidence. He sees the game really well,” added center Marcus Johansson. “It’s not just his shot that’s unbelievable. The poise he’s got with the puck and also readying the game, and to shoot it at the right time, it’s a special talent he’s got.”
As the season started, captain Jack Eichel said opponents should fear committing a penalty against the Blue & Gold considering the firepower they boast on special teams. So far, the Sabres have made opponents pay, converting eight of their 15 on the man-advantage.
“I think we’re just moving puck quickly. Just trying to put the opposition of their heels. We’ve done a good job retrieving pucks as well and not letting them get set up and I think we’ve kind of dictated it. It’s good to see,” Eichel said. “Power play and special teams are so important in this league and it can mean the difference between whether you win or lose a lot of nights. So it’s good to see our power play has been good so far this year.”
While the Sabres might not convert at a 50-percent rate for the duration of the season, with the skill they have, they could flirt with history. No NHL team has had a power play percentage above 30 since the 1978 New York Islanders.
The Tampa Bay Lightning nearly reached that mark last season and finished with a 28.2 power-play percentage.