The Sabres need more goals, so Dan Bylsma is changing the scoring lines.
Buffalo’s top two lines featured a swap of right wingers Sunday morning. Kyle Okposo joined center Jack Eichel and left wing Evander Kane. Sam Reinhart moved alongside center Ryan O’Reilly and left wing William Carrier.
“A little shakeup in the lines and combinations,” Bylsma said in HarborCenter. “Evander, Jack and Kyle, give them a chance to see what they can do as a line. Sam reunited with Ryan.”
Okposo has been one of the Sabres’ most productive players. He scored the lone goal in Friday’s 4-1 loss to Washington and has four goals and eight points in nine games. He may help reinvigorate Eichel, who has one assist in the last four games after coming back from injury with three goals and four points in two games.
Reinhart has been kept off the score sheet in three straight games after a run of two goals and seven points in six games. O’Reilly has three-game point streak, recording four assists during the span.
The other lines featured Johan Larsson in the middle of Marcus Foligno and Brian Gionta, and a four-man rotation of Zemgus Girgensons, Matt Moulson, Derek Grant and Nicolas Deslauriers.
It wasn’t a lazy Sunday morning at the rink for the Sabres. They did an extended drill in which one group of five tried to keep the puck in the zone, while another group of five tried to clear it. It got intense at times physically.
“I’m glad that was evident,” Bylsma said. “We really just got down to the basics of what our game is there and how we need to play. I thought the last 20 minutes was how we need to play, and you’re going to see more of that drill from us in practice and hopefully see it in the game.”