Score: Pittsburgh 4 | Buffalo 2
Shots: PIT 32 | BUF 30
Buffalo Goal Scorers: Jake McCabe (3), Marcus Johansson (9)
Pittsburgh Goal Scorers: Patric Hornqvist (16,17), Marcus Pettersson (2), Sidney Crosby (15)
While the Sabres left little to be desired tonight, the officiating was also atrocious. Early in the first period, goaltender Jonas Johansson was knocked over in his crease, which led to a quick goal by Patric Hornqvist. After a coach’s challenge, the scoreboard stayed at 1-0 in favor of the Penguins and the Sabres would only tie it up once for the remainder of the game. In his 22 games against Buffalo, Hornqvist has 12 goals and 12 assists.
Later in the game, a similar collision occurred on the other end of the ice, this time involving Pens goaltender Matt Murray. Would the call be treated the same? Of course not. Johan Larsson received the penalty after skating backwards into Murray, which led to another Pittsburgh goal.
Minus-2: Meaningless March
There are many reasons why the Sabres find themselves playing yet another meaningless March. The list is long, but one thing that has been consistent this season is their inability to start games strong. Buffalo has found themselves playing catch-up countless times - during which, they have failed to claim those much-needed points with a productive offense. Now that we are into the final month of the regular season, there’s nothing left to fight for anymore. This was evident from the start as the home team did not have a shot on goal in the first half of the first period. While their eventual first shot - shorthanded by defenseman Jake McCabe - materialized into a great goal, they could not keep the momentum going.
The Sabres are 6-16-6 when trailing after the first period.
Here is another fun stat to rub salt in the wound: they are also currently 0-10 on the power play.
Plus-1: Ullmark May Be Back Soon
Johansson, though still very new and slowly gaining experience, has been difficult to watch in his few games since being called up with the Sabres. Linus Ullmark, who is currently out with an upper body injury, may be back in net as early as Saturday in an away game against the red hot Philadelphia Flyers who have won eight straight. Good luck, boys!