The Buffalo Sabres lost to the Minnesota Wild tonight 6-3. They were outshot 39-28 by the best possession team in the NHL. Both teams scored a whole bunch of goals very close together in the first period, Rasmus Ristolainen netted his first goal of the season, but Nino Niederreiter scored his first career hat trick to power the Wild offense.
I'm not sure what more to say about it than that. It was the third straight game the Sabres have given up six goals, which means, with their offense, they have absolutely no chance to win. It was the second straight game they allowed an opposing player to score a hat trick, which means that in one game, a single opponent scored more goals than everyone on the Sabres roster except Tyler Ennis, Drew Stafford, and Zemgus Girgensons.
There's a bit of good new, however, if you're watching the young guns. The aforementioned Girgensons scored tonight, while Rasmus Ristolainen and Nikita Zadorov effectively functioned as the team's top defensive pairing - more on Zadorov later today. So there is hope on the horizon, just keep focusing on every player too young to go out for a beer.
The Sabres will return home to play the Leafs on Saturday. Give us your thoughts on this 18-goals-against stretch over the past three games in the comments.
1. How will Patrick Kaleta look in his first game back?
Kaleta was OK in this game, playing just over eight minutes but finishing as a -2. It's nice to have his energy back on the bottom line, but he's not going to help the Sabres win many games if the team as a whole plays like this.
2. Can Tyler Myers deal with the anchor of Andre Benoit he'll have to drag around all night?
Benoit only played 13 minutes this game, while Tyson Strachan played over 20. Here's a microcosm of the Sabres season however - at one point, Strachan dug a puck out and flung it down the ice, thinking he was on the PK. He was not.
3. Will the Sabres keep their former stars in check?
Jason Pominville had an assist, but other than that, the ex-Sabres were kept in check, with only three shots between them. Vanek continues his Matt Moulson-like season with just one goal, averaging just two shots a game.
Comment of the Game
Worst team in franchise history and it isn't even close.
Tough to argue that.