The Buffalo Sabres aren't a very good hockey team. They're better than last year, but moral victories only go so far when you're in 29th place. that much was evident in tonight's 6-3 loss to the New York Rangers. But what was also evident was that the Sabres do have a few diamonds in the rough, leading to some highlight reel goals.
Let's get the bad stuff out of the way first. Buffalo lost 6-3, and it was a total team loss. There were bad penalties from the bottom six, the defensemen played like they were already on the All Star Break, and the Rangers were the beneficiary of a wonky goal or two. Make no mistake, this was not a good game from the Sabres, but with the All Star break desperately close and the last game also a tire fire, let's focus on some of the positive stuff that heppened.
The positive stuff that happened was basically just Zemgus Girgensons and Jack Eichel. The duo combined for two Girgensons goals in the span of 73 seconds in the third period, and they were both beautiful goals. The first one, especially, was a thing of beauty. Girgensons' shot was straight out of the Chris Drury goal line book, while Eichel's assist was...I don't even...
The second goal was a bit more classic, with a nifty two-on-one pass making Zem's life easy. Check it below.
game-tying goal pic.twitter.com/IxtFMXfX8M— Stephanie (@myregularface) January 26, 2016
The rest of the game is better left unspoken. Brian Gionta had the Sabres third goal, while Chad Johnson didn't look great but also wasn't helped at all by his defense. Jamie McGinn went off in the third after being hit in the face with a puck, but Dan Bylsma said after the game it wasn't bad.
The Sabres have one more game tomorrow night against Ottawa before they mercifully hit the All Star Break.
1. What effect will Girgensons' return have on the team?
The Girgensons and Eichel line was the Sabres best grouping tonight, and you saw the beautiful highlights above. I believe Zemgus still has the talent to be a top six forward, and tonight was a big step in the right direction.
2. Will Buffalo's penalty kill stay perfect?
Sadly, the streak would come to an end. The Sabres had longest string of successful PKs for the organization since 2011, according to Sabres PR, but the Rangers would score a power play goal in the third period to bring it all to an end.
3. Can the Sabres take advantage of a tired Rangers team?
No, and actually the Rangers looked like the fresh team in the third period, despite the Sabres Girgensons-led flurry. Maybe the Sabres will look fresher Tuesday night against Ottawa?