One of the early NHL story lines is a league-wide increase in scoring. That trend hasn’t included Buffalo yet, so Sabres coach Dan Bylsma is making some moves.
Sam Reinhart, who had been the right winger on the top line through four games, shifted to second-line center Sunday when the Sabres practiced in KeyBank Center. Matt Moulson moved to the top line alongside center Ryan O’Reilly and right wing Kyle Okposo, while Reinhart skated in the middle of Tyler Ennis and Zemgus Girgensons.
“We’ve got six goals in one game,” Bylsma said. “You subtract that, we’ve got four in the other three games. We need to get more goals. We need to get more goals throughout.”
The Sabres rank tied for 21st at 2.75 goals per game but, as Bylsma noted, a 6-2 victory in Edmonton skews the numbers. He hopes a better showing from Reinhart can boost the output. Reinhart has no goals, two assists and nine shots in four games.
“Sam needs to get a little bit more feet moving, a little bit more speed to his game,” Bylsma said. “He’s made some great plays for us early on – power play and five-on-five for the Okposo goal – but we need to get more out of Sam, moving his feet more, playing a little bit faster, a little bit quicker and providing a little bit more offense for our team.”
Moulson, who started training camp on the fourth line, has bolstered his position with two goals and 11 shots.
“It’s just making sure I’m concentrating on the things I want to work on, keep getting better each day,” Moulson said. “The chance to go out with those two guys is an opportunity. They’re two great players.”
Moulson and Okposo played on the same line with the New York Islanders.
“We’re just going to try to rekindle some old magic,” Okposo said.
The Sabres’ other lines featured Johan Larsson in the middle of Marcus Foligno and Brian Gionta, and Derek Grant between Nicolas Deslauriers and Hudson Fasching.
The Sabres recalled Fasching and defenseman Casey Nelson after letting them play two games in Rochester this weekend. Buffalo’s next game is Tuesday in Philadelphia.