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Recap: Sabres start slow, lose to Avalanche 5-3

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A poor first period put the Sabres in a hole from which they could not recover.

Buffalo Sabres v Colorado Avalanche Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Coming off of a five-day layoff, the big worry for the Buffalo Sabres going in to last night’s game against the Avalanche was how they would start. Would they hit the ground running thanks to their rest, or would the rust of a week away show itself?

Unfortunately, after the team dug itself into a 3-0 hole in the first period, the answer was clear.

The Sabres got off to a horrendous start by falling behind 3-0, and deflections and poor defensive coverage played a part in each goal. Three minutes into the game, Josh Gorges failed to tie up Gabriel Landeskog as he skated in front of the net, and Landeskog would deflect a point shot past Robin Lehner to open the scoring.

Ten minutes later, our old friend Mikhail Grigorenko skated through Reinhart, Gorges (I’m sensing a theme here), Kulikov, and Girgensons as easy as pie before his shot deflected off Kulikov’s stick and into the net. The third goal was simply a wicked shot by Tyson Barrie that went off the post and in, set up by him sneaking down from the point for the one-timer.

The Sabres would get a power play goal from Sam Reinhart before the period ended, but the damage had already been done.

For the rest of the game, every time the Sabres closed to within one, the Avs responded. After Marcus Foligno scored a hard-working goal in the crease, the Sabres failed to get back on the rush and Blake Comeau put Colorado up by two again.

And when Evan Rodrigues scored his first of the season in the third period, the Avs would seal it with an empty netter from Landeskog for his second goal of the game. The win tonight was Colorado goalie Jeremy Smith’s first NHL win in his third career start.

Sabres coach Dan Bylsma was understated in his post game comments. "We knew we were coming off the break, we knew it was going to be a tough game for us. It's just disappointing we give them three off the hop and we have to kind of reset and try and get back to playing our game and focus on coming back in that game."

Disappointing, indeed.

Another disappointment was a horrendous no-call late in the game that saw Jack Eichel tackled to the ice with the Sabres already on the power play. You never want to blame a loss on the refs, but this was one of the more blatant penalties I’ve seen in a while.

With the loss, the Sabres are now six points behind Boston for the final wild card spot, and seven points behind Toronto for third place in the Atlantic.

Comment of the Game

I threw my Twizzlers at the TV when that no-call happened.

and I’m more pissed about the no-call on that penalty than my Twizzlers being all over the floor

Posted by Nhlking1992