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Recap: Lack of Execution Costs the Sabres in Overtime Loss to Ducks

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Poor execution comes up to bite the Sabres again tonight in a 4-3 overtime loss to the ducks

NHL: Anaheim Ducks at Buffalo Sabres Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

The Buffalo Sabres got out to a good start like their head coach wanted. It was a fast-paced period in which both teams exchanged some chances. Lehner made a few big saves to keep the Ducks off the board. Including one on former Sabre Derek Grant.

Zemgus Girgensons picked up another shorthanded goal for the first goal of the game. He showed some great effort on the play. Put a shot from an awkward angle on Ryan Miller and he ended up dropping the rebound. Girgensons followed up his shot and put the puck in the net off the back of Miller.

The Sabres took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission and a 13-11 lead in shots. However, they’ve started a bad trend of taking penalties with three in the opening 20 minutes.

A carry-over penalty from the first period came back to bite the Sabres early in the period. Just 21 seconds in Rickard Rakell continued his hot streak to even the game up at one.

The Ducks controlled the majority of the period outshooting the Sabres 14-5 in the middle frame. Even after being outplayed the Sabres appeared to be headed to the third period with a lead. Sam Reinhart sets up Jack Eichel with a nice touch pass with the man advantage to make it 2-1.

In classic Sabres fashion, the lead didn’t last long. With 30 seconds remaining in the period Ondrej Kase tapped a loose puck between the legs of Lehner to tie the game two after 40 minutes.

The Sabres pushed back in the third period and held the puck in the Ducks zone for extended periods of time.

Disaster seemed to strike late in the third when Ryan O’Reilly attempted to clear a puck behind the net and it ended up hitting the stick of Lehner and into the net to give the Ducks a 3-2 lead.

Again, the Sabres battled back. They put some heavy pressure on the Ducks and Miller in the final two minutes. With 14 seconds left in the game, O’Reilly got his redemption off a nice feed from Eichel to tie the game three.

We headed to overtime and a lack of simple execution cost the Sabres. Rasmus Ristolainen missed a wide open Eichel skating up the wing by a mile. The puck was turned over and the Sabres never got it back. Not too long after that Adam Henrique came down and beat Lehner high blocker on a shot just a few steps inside the blue line to give his team the victory.

Final Score: Ducks 4, Sabres 3

Shots on Goal: Ducks 34 | Sabres 33

Ducks Goal Scorers: Rakell (22), Kase (14), Perry (10) and Henrique (16)

Sabres Goal Scorers: Girgensons (6), Eichel (21) and O’Reilly (15)

Three Stars of the Game

1. Adam Henrique (1 G, GWG)

2. Jack Eichel (1 G, 1 A)

3. Rickard Rakell (1 G)