The story of this Buffalo Sabres season has been one of goaltenders. The Sabres have constantly faced backup netminders, while herculean efforts from their own starting goalies have given Buffalo many more wins than they actually deserve.
Last night, the Predators played their starter while the Sabres finally played their backup, and the results were satisfyingly predictable.
Pekka Rinne made 24 saves to shut out the Sabres while the Preds received goals from Taylor Beck, Craig Smith, and Mike Fisher to beat the Sabres 3-0. The Sabres were coming off of a game Friday night, and didn't seem to have their legs under them until the third period, where they recorded almost half of their 24 shots.
Buffalo lost the shot, faceoff, and special teams battles all by significant margins, and after the first period ended in a 0-0 tie, it was all Nashville the rest of the night.
With the loss (and the Coyotes loss) the Sabres remain just three points up on 30th place with 10 games to go. They'll play Arizona on Thursday after playing the Stars tomorrow, and the Sabres internets are just going to get silly for a few days.
1. Will we finally see Matt Hackett tonight?
We did, and Hackett played well, making 40 of 43 saves. Will it be enough for Nolan to continue to play him over Anders Lindback? We'll find out in the next few days.
2. Can the slumping Predators take advantage of a Sabres team playing the second half of a back-to-back?
Yes they did. The tired Sabres only managed to get 24 shots on Rinne, giving him one of the easiest shutouts of his career, and the Preds got their first in at home in their last six tries.
Comment of the Game
Welp at least Buffalo did their jobs tonight.
As long as the Sabres keep losing, it doesn't matter what the other teams do.