Sabres' Reinhart knows what he needs to do to play well

Sam Reinhart got to the net and scored the late game-tying goal on Saturday

Paul Hamilton
November 10, 2018 - 3:14 pm

Photo: Timothy T. Ludwig - USA TODAY Sports

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Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) - Last season, Sam Reinhart scored 20 goals and 19 assists for 39 points in his final 44 games. In his first 38 games, he had five goals and six assists for 11 points. The pessimist said the second half of the season is no big deal because the Sabres were out of it and the pressure was off. I can see that to a point, but his production was over 44 games and you can’t ignore that.

This season, in 16 games Reinhart was off to another slow start with just one goal and nine assists for 10 points. He came into Saturday with four points in three games, and after getting hit in the mouth with a puck in the first period, he came back and scored the game-tying goal, converting a Rasmus Ristolainen rebound with just 1:47 left.

Before he scored that goal, he won the battles behind the net and found an open Skinner in front to make the game 3-2 with 2:27 left. That now gives Reinhart six points in his last four games, and he appears to really be gaining momentum.

One of the things I've noticed lately is how hard he has been against the boards, and he’s starting to spend time in front of the net again. He is also on a line with Evan Rodrigues, a guy he feels he has chemistry with, “It’s the skill he possesses, his speed and the thing I look at is the way he thinks the game. We think the game alike and it helps because we’re on the same page out there.”

Reinhart knows what he has to do to be a point producer and that includes being strong along the wall, “When I’m on my game that’s the part that kind of comes with ease, I make a simple play off that and it leads to rush opportunities, so part of that’s on me to win that battle and make a good play and part of its on Rodger or whoever it is coming through the middle or coming for support.”

After Saturday's game, Jack Eichel said he thought that was one of Reinhart's best games.

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