The first goal is finally out of the way. If Evander Kane wants more, his coach has a suggestion.
“The one thing we keep working and urging Evander to do is shoot the puck,” the Sabres’ Dan Bylsma said Saturday. “He hasn’t shot the puck this year the way he normally does, and he’s had opportunities to do it.”
Kane put two shots on net against Boston, and he scored Buffalo’s only goal in a 2-1 loss. He fired from below the left faceoff circle and got help when the rebound of Tuukka Rask’s save bounced off Boston’s David Krejci and into the net.
Carom aside, Bylsma liked where Kane was on the play.
“This is a goal you typically see from Evander,” Bylsma said. “It’s a good spot for him, and good to see him get that goal.”
Kane, whose season was interrupted by four cracked ribs midway through the opener, was kept out of the goal column during his first 12 games. The 13th was lucky.
“It was just good to get the first one out of the way,” Kane said in KeyBank Center. “When you have multiple games together and you don’t score, being a goal-scorer that’s a slump. I feel I have an opportunity to score every game, so it was just nice to get it.”
As Bylsma noted, Kane has been less active in the offensive zone. The left winger was third in the NHL last season with 4.2 shots per game. This season, he’s seventh on his own team at 2.4 shots per game.
The goal gave Kane a three-game point streak, boosting his season totals to one goal and five assists. Still, he’s on pace for only five goals and 27 points.
Getting power-play chances would help. He’s skating on the second unit with Brian Gionta, Matt Moulson, Cody Franson and Taylor Fedun. They haven’t scored in six games.
“We’ve got to find ways to get pucks to the net,” Gionta said. “Right now we’re not getting them to the net.”
Josh Gorges missed his first game of the season with a foot injury, and his absence from the Sabres’ blue line could continue. He will be out a “little bit” after blocking a shot Thursday against the New York Rangers, Bylsma said.
Gorges is second on the Sabres in short-handed ice time, averaging 2:46 per game, behind only Rasmus Ristolainen’s 3:12. Against the Bruins, defensemen Justin Falk (1:56), Jake McCabe (1:12) and Cody Franson (48 seconds) picked up the slack.
Gorges joined Dmitry Kulikov and Zach Bogosian on the sidelines. Bogosian, who has a sprained knee ligament, is still 10 days to two weeks away.
“Kulikov has now skated two days with some physicality and now been skating for seven days,” Bylsma said. “Hopefully, that means we’ll see him in practice soon – in the next week hopefully.”
The injuries extend to Rochester, where defenseman Casey Nelson is day-to-day with a neck/shoulder ailment.
Forward Hudson Fasching, who opened the season in Buffalo before being sent to the Amerks, hasn’t played since Oct. 22 because of a groin injury.
“I think he’s doing better and progressing to skating next week,” Bylsma said.
The Sabres’ Ryan O’Reilly and Boston’s Patrice Bergeron are perennial faceoff leaders. O’Reilly dominated his counterpart, winning 11 draws and losing three.
Bergeron played after missing practice Friday with an illness.
“It was one of those where you have to kind of battle through it and drink as much fluid as you can,” he said. “It would’ve been nice to have a 7 o’clock game for once, but it’s all right.”