The Buffalo Sabres biggest weakness this season has been their offensive production, and tonight, the team could not capitalize on many of their chances in another frustrating one-goal lost, this time a 3-2 defeat at the hands of the Montreal Canadiens.
While the game started a bit slowly, with both teams feeling each other out, things picked up after the first ten minutes, and we had some exciting, but goalless, hockey to finish the first period. It was clear that the Sabres came out with more jump tonight, or as Nic Deslauriers put it after the game, "We came out ball to the wall." Well then.
The Sabres would open the scoring in the second period, thanks to a Deslauriers deflection from Jake McCabe, D-Lo's fifth of the season. But the Habs would come back with the next two goals, both thanks to Alex Galchenyuk, who is rapidly earning the name "Sabre Killer" thanks to scoring approximately 100 goals against Buffalo this season alone, and the Canadiens ended the second period up 2-1.
The Sabres would not go quietly in the third, however, as Brian Gionta would deflect an Evander Kane shot off his skate and in to tie the game. It looked as if the Sabres could take the lead with some added momentum, until Robin Lehner had another weird goal against, as a shot went off his mask and bounced right to Torrey Mitchell, who scored the game winner.
Things would take a turn for he worst for the NHL in general with three minutes left, when PK Subban would jam his head and neck against Alexei Emelin's leg, and would fall immediately to the ice, flinging his gloves off along the way. PK would eventually be stretchered off the ice, but did show movement in his hands and legs. He's one of the best people in the NHL, both on and off the ice, and received an award for his charitable contributions right before this game.
one more look at what happened. pic.twitter.com/iXoDxUBbIy— Stephanie (@myregularface) March 11, 2016
The Sabres mounted a valiant last stand, but couldn't cash in during the final few minutes. Canadiens goalie Mike Condan was strong in net, and despite extended zone time at the end , the Sabres couldn't find the tying goal.
1. Can the Sabres avoid yet another slow start?
They did, in that the game was tied 0-0 after the first. Actually, both teams started a bit slow in the first, but things picked up as the period went along and the Sabres ended up with a 12-10 shot advantage through one.
2. How will Robin Lehner respond to being pulled?
Lehner played well tonight, making 31 of 34 saves for a .912 save percentage, and one of those goals came on his kooky bounce-off-the-mask right to Mitchell's stick that ended as one of those "shrug" goals that seems like Lady Luck frowning on Buffalo. He wasn't amazing, but overall Lehner was certainly not the problem tonight.
3. Will Eichel or Reinhart set a new career-high point streak?
No they did not. Sorry fam, we blew this one with the announcer's curse.
Comment of the Game
I feel like Bylsma has a number system 1-12, each number representing one of our 12 forwards.
When were on the power-play or penalty-kill he throws two dice on the bench floor 2 times for a PK or 3 times for a PP to decide which forwards should be out on the ice at that time, and repeat.