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Recap: Sabres hang tough, fall late to Penguins 3-1

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The Sabres, missing five defensemen, fell late to the Pens after a valiant effort.

NHL: Pittsburgh Penguins at Buffalo Sabres Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

The Buffalo Sabres tried to see if they could beat the defending champions without any defensemen. Predictably, it didn’t work, but it wasn’t quite as bad as you might think.

The Sabres were missing four blue liners due to injury, and lost another one during the game, but were still tied with the Penguins at one late in the third period. And then two tough bounces (or two create-you-own-luck goals, depending on who you’re rooting for) happened, and the Sabres ultimately fell to the Pens 3-1.

One of the major stories of the game was Rasmus Ristolainen earning a 5-minute interference and a game misconduct for this hit on Jake Guentzel halfway through the first period.

It might not look like the hardest hit in the world, but Girgensons stole the pass that was heading for Guentzel, so Risto nailed a player without the puck, which is never OK. Like it or not, this was the right call. Both players would leave the game, Guentzel due to injury and Risto with the misconduct. The Sabres would successfully kill off the five-minute penalty.

The scoring began just as the second period was coming to an end, and it was Sidney Crosby with an absolute beauty.

And he only needed one hand to do it. Hoo boy. Of course, he also did this...

The career of Sidney Crosby summed up in two GIFs.

Period number two wouldn’t feature much scoring, but would feature Robin Lehner keeping his team in the game with some key saves. Already missing four defensemen due to injury, and without Ristolainen for the final 50 minutes, the Buffalo defense was heavily outmatched by the Penguins forwards, but Lehner was a wall during the first two period.

Buffalo would get themselves on the board early in the third, thanks to Sam Reinhart, who was assisted by Hudson Fasching, who earned his first point of the season. The Sabres would play a relatively strong period, but would be undone by a few tough deflections that led right to Penguins goals, one on a screen and one off of Girgensons’ skate. A late penalty on Kane for high sticking Crosby (who delivered an all-time sell job) and that was all she wrote.

Three Questions

1. Can the Sabres avoid a late collapse like the last time these two teams met?

Despite giving up two goals in the final six minutes, I wouldn’t call this one collapse. Both goals came off of tough bounces, and the Sabres had played a pretty good period up to that point. Having five defensemen out due to injury and playing the second game in a back-to-back certainly doesn’t help.

2. Which team will get more chances on the power play?

The Penguins got four power plays (including a five-minute major and a double minor) tonight while the Sabres only were awarded one. Insert thinking face emoji.

3. Will we see the Beauts on TV tonight?

Yep, the Beauts and the Isobel Cup appeared on both MSG and WGR between periods, and Buffalo hockey fans got to see a championship team.

Comment of the Game

Crosby split the d twice

Posted by lgbfromoregon