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[BN] Hockey: Lots to like about the series scheduling so far

[BN] Hockey: Lots to like about the series scheduling so far

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Jan. 31, 2021

Capitals 6, Sabres 4 (copy) (copy)

More back-to-back games will create more physical play, as Washington's John Carlson checks Sabres forward Jeff Skinner during the season opener in KeyBank Center.

Inside the NHL: The multigame series is a fun part of this new schedule

The Sabres and Devils play again today here in Buffalo, 24 hours after the puck dropped on the first of the two-game set this weekend.

Back-to-backs are not that abnormal to the NHL schedule. Having them between the same teams in the same city are a Covid-19 wrinkle for this season.

But if you ask Mike Harrington, that coronavirus-induced change should be here to stay.

"More back-to-backs are good and the concept of a two-game series in the same city should 100% be continued going forward," he wrote.

There will be pushback from some and support from others, but there are good reasons to consider it moving forward.

Harrington lays some of those reasons out in this week's Inside the NHL column, which also includes the idea of Jason Botterill going to Pittsburgh, gripes with advertising, Alexis Lafreniere's support from Rangers fans and more.


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Sabres are finding a way: The Sabres have points in six of their last seven games and in five straight. This, while sleepwalking through some of Saturday's game and large stretches of Thursday night's game. It hasn't been pretty, but the Sabres are finding a way so far. Read more

Eichel's shootout goal gets it done: The struggles at 5-on-5 continued Saturday, even as Ralph Krueger had to mix things up to try to find a spark, a process made more difficult by Sam Reinhart being out. The Sabres have scored only four even-strength goals over their past four games and continue to rely heavily on Linus Ullmark. Here's Lance Lysowski's game story. Read more

Wraparound: Victor Olofsson, Eric Staal and Tobias Rieder scored for the Sabres. Ullmark made 31 saves in what was his fifth straight start. Dylan Cozens jumped up with the top power-play unit. Those and more news and notes from Saturday are included in the Wraparound. Read more

In photos: Here's how it looked inside KeyBank Center Saturday afternoon. View photos

Power rankings: The Canadiens jumped from 13 to 1 in Harrington's latest power rankings. The Sabres jumped, too, but not quite as drastically. Read more

Around the East: The Penguins beat the Rangers in overtime but lost Kris Letang in the process. Read more

Flyers coach Alain Vigneault wants more from his team, but it got another win Saturday over the Islanders. Read more

And rounding out what was a day full of one-goal games in the East, Alex Ovechkin scored the overtime winner in his return from Covid-19 protocols in a 4-3 win over Boston. Read more

Washington (15 points) is in first place in the division, but the fifth-place Sabres are online five points back.

Beauts: Lisa Chesson scored a power-play goal to give the Beauts a 2-1 victory over the Boston Pride in the first game of their best-of-three series to play into the Isobel Cup playoffs. Read more


Bills: How Bills' Josh Allen will work to become a better quarterback in 2021. Read more

Analysis: Charts show how Josh Allen improved deep, middle, short. Read more

Mailbag: Will Devin Singletary definitely be back in 2021? Read more

Colleges: Dominick Welch, Osun Osunniyi boost St. Bonaventure in win against George Mason. Read more

Nwandu, Cintron go on the offensive to lead Niagara University past Monmouth. Read more

Central Michigan rallies late to avoid upset by UB women. Read more

Canisius College hockey falls to RIT. Read more

Today in sports history: Doug Williams leads Washington to rout of Denver in Super Bowl XXII. Read more

Have thoughts on the [BN] Hockey newsletter and our Sabres coverage? Email Executive Sports Editor Josh Barnett at

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