Casey Mittelstadt Sets Up Buffalo Goal in Season Debut
The Buffalo Sabres number one pick in the 2017 amateur draft made his NHL debut on Thursday night and drew an assist on a third period goal. Casey Mittelstadt won a faceoff in the third period and left the puck for Evan Rodrigues who scored, but that was one of the few bright spots in yet another dreary 6-3 loss.
The Detroit Red Wings had come into KeyBank Center having lost 11 straight road games, but as the Sabres usually do they made it easy for their opponent. Things were rocking for the first seven minutes of the game. The crowd was pumped to see the team's new player in action and the Sabres had built a 2-0 lead on goals by Jack Eichel and Ryan O'Reilly.
30 seconds after O'Reilly's power play goal the Wings scored the first of four straight goals including one short handed and the Sabres again had no answers. The Wings tied it on a shorthanded goal, the tenth given up by the Sabres this year, but the Sabres twice had clear cut breakaways during Detroit power plays and came up empty both times. That's the way it usually goes for this team and Mittelstadt got to see it up close for himself.
The crowd cheered Mittelstadt when he came onto the ice for the first time and also when he completed his first shift. He also got a big ovation when his assist on the Rodrigues goal was announced. And he showed his speed and quick hands will be a big addition to the team. But as Phil Housley has said many times there are still to many passengers on this team, guys who take shifts off, who go thru the motions and it was evident once again in Buffalo's fifth loss in the last six games.
The Sabres play the NHL's top team, the Nashville Predators on Saturday night in Nashville.