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Sabres at Panthers recap: Sabres falter late, lose 4-3 in shootout

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ANOTHER shootout loss dooms the Sabres in Florida.

Buffalo Sabres v Florida Panthers Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

When the shootout was introduced in 2005, it was an exciting, new way to decide games. It added a breath of fresh air to a game that was quickly growing stale amidst strategies like the trap and the thugs that were all too prevalent at the time.

In 2016, the tide seems to have turned against the shootout, with many fans in favor of bringing back ties rather than decide games via a skills competition.

For Buffalo Sabres fans, getting rid of the shootout should be front and center on their NHL wish list.

The Sabres fell to 1-5 in the shootout this season thanks to the Florida Panthers, who eliminated a third period deficit to force overtime and eventually a shootout, where they made the Sabres look like chumps in a 4-3 win.

Buffalo got off to another slow start, getting outshot 16-4 in the first period and giving up the opening goal to go down 1-0. Considering this continues their streak of poor first periods, and that they were coming off of two days rest, this was another disappointing start for the Sabres.

Contrary to the rest of this review, the second period was really fun! It featured plenty of goals, from Sam Reinhart to Evander Kane to Keith Yandle, and a fight between Marcus Foligno and Shawn Thornton, and finished knotted up at two.

The third period saw the Sabres go up halfway through, taking a 3-2 lead on a Ristolainen power play goal, his second point of the night. But as has happened so often this season, the Sabres couldn’t hold the lead, giving it up with four minutes left thanks to Nick Bjugstad’s first goal of the season.

On that goal, Jaromir Jagr earned his third point of the game, which tied him with Mark Messier for second all time in NHL history with 1,887 points, trailing only Wayne Gretzky. Congrats to the mullet on his amazing accomplishment.

Unfortunately, things would go to a shootout, where the Sabres were once again smoked. Robin Lehner gave up two straight goals once again, while the Sabres were yet again unable to score and the team left with an aptly named loser point.

The games this week are critical for the Sabres, seeing as they play many of teams right around them in the standings, and leaving points out there is very disappointing. They’ll get another chance to move up in the standings on Thursday against the Hurricanes.

Three Questions

1. How will Marcus Foligno fare on the top line?

Foligno got into a fight tonight, and had the career-making GIF of fixing his hair before throwing Shawn Thornton to the ice.

Aside from that, he didn’t do much on the top line, totaling just one shot tonight.

2. Three players are on a more-than-a-point-per-game streak against the Panthers, will any of them extend that streak?

Reinhart had two points tonight, while Kane and O’Reilly had a point each to keep everyone’s point streaks alive.

3. When will Dan Bylsma find his 300th career coaching win?

Maybe next time, Dan. Pro Tip: Practice the shootout between now and Thursday.

Comment of the Game

Dear Dan Bylsma,

When you practice shootouts, who gets more overconfident?

The Sabres shooters, who get to go against pathetic Robin Lehner?

Or Robin Lehner, who gets to go against the pathetic Sabres shooters?

Love,

Sabres Fans

Posted by PopeInTheWoods