The Buffalo Sabres were never in tonight's game against the Pittsburgh Penguins - and when I say never, that's not hyperbole. The Penguins scored just 80 seconds into the game, then again just two minutes later, and the Sabres just couldn't find any footing against a superior opponent en route to a 6-1 loss.
Sidney Crosby powered Pittsburgh's offense with five assists on the Penguins first five goals, bringing him to 17 assists on the season. To put that into perspective, the Sabres top two scorers combined has just 15 total points. Kris Letang scored twice, while Evgeni Malkin, Patric Hornqvist, and Robert Bortuzzo (who I like to imagine is the bizarro version of Todd Bertuzzi) added goals of their own to fuel the tire fire that is the Sabres season.
The Sabres effort tonight was simply pathetic. Even with Pittsburgh's lead in goals, the Sabres did not get a single shot on net for the first 13 minutes of the game, and were outshot 39-21 for the game. They played undisciplined hockey, giving the Penguins five power play chances, and the top PP unit in the league unsurprisingly converted twice. There's really not much analysis that needs to be done - Pittsburgh is good, Buffalo is terrible, and when you combine that with a piss-poor effort by the Sabres, you get a blowout loss. Simple hockey math.
If you're looking for good news, hang your hat on the paly of some of the youngsters - Zemgus Girgensons scored the team's lone goal and, as usual, was one of Buffalo's best forwards on the ice. Nikita Zadorov somehow escaped with a +/- of 0 while playing on the power play, and Rasmus Ristolainen registered three shots and two hits in his 20 minutes of ice time. These will be the guys who matter in another 2-3 years, so just keep focusing on their positive development while the rest of the team burns.
The Sabres fall to 3-11-2 on the season, and will next play at St. Louis on Tuesday.
Comment of the Game
We need a GIF of that season-defining sequence.