For a second straight game the Sabres were blown out, as they suffered a 5-1 loss to Colorado tonight. The Sabres outshot the Avalanche 29 to 23, and didn't look as horrendous as the score makes it seem. With all that happened to the Sabres tonight, it would have been surprising if they had won.
It was a turbulent few hours for the Sabres, who had to recall Johan Larsson late due to Matt Moulson getting ill. Then over the course of the game the Sabres lost two more, as Patrick Kaleta also left with illness and Tyler Myers left with an injury.
Ted Nolan said in his postgame press conference that a few other players were feeling flu-like symptoms as well, but couldn't say whether or not the Sabres have been hit by the mumps bug. Nolan said the Sabres will likely have a few more recalls, as both players seem unlikely to play tomorrow against Boston.
The Avalanche pulled ahead early, thanks to an Erik Johnson goal only three minutes in. Larsson was caught a bit out of position as the Colorado defenseman somehow managed to get behind all of the Sabres. He shot the puck just wide of Jhonas Enroth's skate to make it 1-0.
Four minutes later Cody McLeod doubled the score with a shorthanded goal, the fifth the Sabres have given up all season.
The scoring would slow down, as it wouldn't be until the third period that Alex Tanguay would make it 3-0. A Marcus Foligno giveaway lead to a rush for the Avalanche, and Tanguay shot a laser to the top corner. Left all alone in the slot, John Mitchell scored to make it 4-0 on a shot that Enroth would want back.
The biggest bright spot of the night came with seven minutes left, as Larsson, fresh-off his call-up from Rochester, scored his first NHL goal. It took 34 games to finally light up the lamp. It was the cherry on top of a very hectic day for the young Swede. He said postgame that he arrived with two minutes left in warmups, and even had to stop for gas on his way from Rochester.
Tanguay finished things off with an empty net goal at the 19:34 mark.
1. Will Grigorenko score his first goal of the season?
Mikhail Grigorenko didn't score, but he and his linemakes Larsson and Chris Stewart did create a lot of chances tonight. Despite only playing a little under 11 minutes, Grigorenko had a pretty solid game.
2. How will Gorges look in his return from injury?
Gorges looked fine in his return, with Rasmus Ristolainen being the only defenseman that earned more ice time. After Myers went down all the defenseman took on further pressure, as Nolan mostly rotated five defensemen while using Nicolas Deslauriers sparingly.
3. Will the Sabres help Colorado get back on the right track?
Yes, yes they did. With the win Colorado now has 30 points, moving them into 25th place in the league. With Philadelphia's destruction of Toronto tonight the Sabres are now solely in 26th place, two points ahead of Arizona.
Comment of the game
Let's just hug this one out.