Shots? Who needs shots?
Tonight was one of those games the anti-corsi crowd would point to the numbers and say, "See! You can only judge a game with your eyes!" The Sabres dominated possession, outshooting the Predators the entire way. However, it was Nashville leaving victorious by a 3-2 score. The final box makes things look closer than it appeared for a majority of the night.
The Sabres dominated the beginning of the game, holding the Preds without a shot for the first 14 minutes of the game. Unfortunately, the Predators would score on their first serious opportunity. Nashville got three shots on Ullmark, including the final tap-in by Mike Fisher. Ullmark got little help from Zach Bogosian and Jake McCabe, and the Preds took the first period lead.
Only 55 seconds into the second frame Craig Smith extended that lead with a pretty shot to the top corner. The Sabres were caught on a 3-on-1 after a poor change, and Smith opted to take the shot himself. Five shots, two goals.
Hey, remember this guy? Three shots later, Cody Hodgson got revenge on the team that bought him out in the summer (or did they? The Sabres still have not acknowledged it in any form). Gabriel Bourque had a pretty pass to set up CoHo, who made no mistake with a wide-open goal. Eight shots, three goals and Ullmark got the yank. He didn't have much of an opportunity on two of the three, so it seemed more like a mercy pulling than Dan Bylsma being upset with the young goalie's play.
Chad Johnson held down the fort for the rest of the game, enough to give the Sabres an opportunity to mount a comeback. Evander Kane scored late in the second on a hard shot that bounced right off the post and in.
The Sabres started to build momentum following a big hit from Marcus Foligno on Carter Hutton. There was no penalty on the play, since he was going for the puck.
In the final two minutes Jack Eichel brought the game within one, as he was set up perfectly by a cross-ice Ryan O'Reilly pass. However, it was too little too late for the Sabres, who dropped their sixth in a row.
Bylsma said in his post-game press conference that Tyler Ennis' injury is new, and there is no timetable just yet. He was a late scratch tonight, with Girgensons jumping into his spot in the lineup.
Tonight's outing on the ice may have been frustrating at points, but I stand by the "Guess That Emoji" game on the jumbotron being the worst thing that happened in First Niagara Center tonight.