Home is where the mediocrity is. Buffalo has a last chance to make it a positive place.
The Sabres will play their 38th and final home game of 2016 when Boston visits Thursday. The Sabres are 15-15-7 in KeyBank Center during the calendar year, so a victory will give them a .513 points percentage in 2016.
“We haven’t been doing great at home, and that’s definitely on us,” left wing Marcus Foligno said Wednesday. “It’s something we need to take pride in.”
The Sabres went 8-8-4 at home during the second half of the 2015-16 season. They are 7-7-3 this season, which ranks 26th in the NHL.
Buffalo has scored 35 goals in the 17 games, an average of 2.06. Only Colorado, with 34 goals in 17 games, is worse.
The lack of scoring and dearth of victories have turned the arena into a no-noise zone. The Sabres could change that with a solid start.
After allowing the first goal in seven straight games, Buffalo opened a 2-0 lead during Wednesday’s 4-3 victory in Detroit. The Sabres improved to 9-1-5 when scoring first. They are 4-12-3 when allowing the opening goal.
“It’s not only just getting the goal,” coach Dan Bylsma said. “We scored eight minutes into that game with” Evander Kane’s “goal, but we had four really good shifts into the offensive zone, getting momentum for our team right from the drop of the puck.
“That’s the momentum we have to build into our game and build it right from the start, use our fans, use our building to gain momentum.”