Another game and another underwhelming effort from the Buffalo Sabres.
On the day that marked the 55th birthday of Phil Housley, the Sabres played arguably their worst game of the season.
It was not the usual Buffalo game, where we would see some stumble out of the gate but later a semblance of order.
From opening puck drop to the final whistle, Colorado outplayed Buffalo in every aspect of the game.
Just looking at the shots-on-goal alone, the Avalanche tallied more than double the shots that the Sabres had - 43 to 18.
It is beyond clear that aside from physically being on the ice this afternoon in Denver, the Sabres were just not checked into the game this afternoon.
Colorado would open scoring in the second period after Nathan MacKinnon put on a bit of a show. MacKinnon was checked to the ice by Jack Eichel at his own blueline, got back up and skated past Rasmus Dahlin - all while maintaining puck possession.
From there, MacKinnon was off to the races and fired an uncontested wrist shot past Carter Hutton.
MacKinnon’s 35th of the season, at 3:14 of the second period, put Colorado up 1-0.
Colorado would strike again in the third period, this time off the stick of Mikko Rantanen on a 4-on-3 power play.
Rantanen possessed the puck and dished it to the stick of Tyson Barrie. Instead of loading a shot up, Barrie passed back to Rantanen. From there, he re-collected the puck and fired a wrist shot from the faceoff dot, to the left of Carter Hutton.
Rantanen’s 30th of the season, at 10:13 of the third period, gave Colorado a 2-0 lead.
With Hutton pulled for an extra attacker, Colorado’s Gabriel Bourque would score his first goal of the season, which put a bow on this game for the Avalanche.
The final buzzer sounded and the Buffalo Sabres would fall to the Colorado Avalanche, 3-0.
Housley on if pride needs to be addressed: "We will evaluate this game and look at this very closely..." #Sabres— Brian Koziol (@BrianWGR) March 9, 2019
This loss pushes the Sabres record to 30-29-9, which puts them at 69 points in 68 games played.
Buffalo has lost four straight games, six of seven and 10 of their last 12.
Reinhart: "Everyone should be a little embarrassed at this point" #Sabres— Brian Koziol (@BrianWGR) March 9, 2019
Heading into Saturday night’s games, the Sabres sit 10 points out of the final Eastern Conference Wild Card spot with one game in hand over Montreal (79 points in 69 games).
Buffalo next takes the ice on Tuesday, March 12 when they host the Dallas Stars at the KeyBank Center.
Final: Avalanche 3, Sabres 0
Shots on Goal: Sabres - 18 | Avalanche - 43
Sabres Goal Scorers: None
Avalanche Goal Scorers: Nathan MacKinnon (35), Mikko Rantanen (30), Gabriel Bourque (1)
Three Stars of the Game
1. Nathan MacKinnon (1 goal, 2 assists)
2. Philipp Grubauer (18 saves)
3. Mikko Rantanen (1 goal)