Score: Bruins 3 | Sabres 2
Shots: BOS 36 | BUF 27
Sabres Goals: Sam Reinhart, (12) Kyle Okposo, (2)
Bruins Goals: Matt Grzelcyk, (2) Nick Ritchie, (9) Craig Smith, (6)
1 | Linus is Back
The Sabres have a glimmer of hope now that Linus Ullmark is back from injury. His last game was on February 25, against the Devils when he left with a lower-body injury after the first period. Since his last game, the Sabres have not been able to secure a win. Today Ullmark made 33 saves on 36 shots. He has a .918 SV% and a 2.49 GAA. Ullmark is the reason why Buffalo has a chance of winning but the team needs to help him out offensively. Excluding goalies with 5 or fewer games played, Ullmark is in the top 20 of all NHL goalies in save percentage.
2 | Consistent Energy
Throughout this week the Sabres have fluctuated in scoring chances and shots. The Sabres began the week on Monday facing the Rangers and were outshot 40-19. Wednesday and Thursday were back-to-back games against Pittsburgh. On Wednesday, Buffalo was outshot 42-28 but on Thursday Buffalo outshot Pittsburgh 36-31. Even though the wins haven’t been coming, the energy of the team fluctuates severely. Today the Sabres lost to the Bruins 3-2 but capitalized on 1 out of their 3 power plays. The Sabres had energy in the second but lost it in the third and when it mattered the most, trying to get the tying goal, the energy and urgency were not there. The energy has to be consistent throughout all 60 minutes and especially when you're one goal away from getting the first win since February.
3 | 17, count ‘em
The Sabres came close but could not hang on for the win. They extended the losing streak to 17 games, falling 3-2 to Boston. The Sabres’ last win was on Feb. 23, a 4-1 win against New Jersey. Sam Reinhart got the Sabres on the board first, being handed an easy tap-in goal. Kyle Okposo found his second goal of the year on a put-back rebound. The Sabres successfully killed off all 5 of Boston power plays but were out-hit 23-15. Linus Ullmark is a major factor for the Sabres to find success but he can’t do it all. Taking 10 minutes in penalties will always be harmful even if they all get killed off. It’s 10 minutes of not being able to have offensive possession time and scoring opportunities. The next game is Monday, Mar 29 when the Sabres host the Flyers at 7:00 P.M ET.