Sabres Hang On, Defeat Panthers in Shootout
A late blown lead leaves fans on the edge of their seats but Buffalo hung around for the extra point.
Final Score: Sabres 3 | Panthers 2 (SO)
Shots on Goal: Sabres 32 | Panthers 43
Sabres Goal Scorers: Johan Larsson (1), Marco Scandella (1)
Panthers Goal Scorers: Evgenii Dadonov (2), Mike Hoffman (5)
Plus 1: Linus Ullmark
Florida was on their game tonight - whether that has to do with their skill players being rested-and-ready with it being early in October or not, or maybe it is the new system installed by Joel Quenneville. Either way, the Panthers were all over the ice tonight.
Linus Ullmark was the reason Buffalo was able to remain in the game.
Despite the two goals scored on the Sabres behalf, Ullmark made a few incredible saves throughout the game.
Ullmark robs Hoffmann pic.twitter.com/s8yt7QOj0G— Ben Mathewson (@Ben_Mathewson) October 11, 2019
We are only a few games into the season but if Ullmark can work on his consistency this season, the Buffalo Sabres will go as far as their goaltending takes them.
Plus 2: Girgensons - Larsson - Okposo
Another day, another dominant performance by the Sabres much-maligned fourth line.
Remember before the season when people called for all three of these players to be waived and sent to Rochester? Oh, how the times have changed.
Thanks to fancy stats, we can confirm that the aptly titled “GLO” line had a stellar game on Friday night.
Individually, Larsson, Okposo and Girgensons were the Sabres top-three players 5-on-5 when it came to measuring Corsi.
As a line, Girgensons - Larsson - Okposo posted a 81.25% Corsi 5-on-5.
Tonight, the line took it a step further - they started getting on the scoresheet.
Larsson scored his first goal of the season, while Girgensons and Okposo both recorded two assists a piece.
Larsson Goal (Okposo Girgensons Assists)— Ben Mathewson (@Ben_Mathewson) October 12, 2019
1-0 Buffalo pic.twitter.com/lqRvP2wLyx
Plus 3: This is a Casey Mittelstadt Appreciation Zone
Mittelstadt shootout replay pic.twitter.com/wVsNskOu4o— Ben Mathewson (@Ben_Mathewson) October 12, 2019
It does not feel like we are often reminded but they call Casey Mittelstadt “Mitts”,
In case you missed it, we have embedded the reminder above.
The kid has a wonderful set of hands on him, despite appearing to be snakebitten when it comes to 5-on-5 play. Talent usually wins out, it just might require a little more patience.
Minus 1: Where is Dahlin?
Dahlin sat final 9:28 of regulation. Krueger said he shortened the bench to go w/more experience. "There's going to be moments like that where we reduce the lineup to go with the guys we think have the best chance of closing. He will definitely be in that mix eventually." #Sabres— Mike Harrington (@ByMHarrington) October 12, 2019
Everything about that above tweet is just gross.
Rasmus Dahlin, arguably one of the Sabres best defensemen, found himself stapled to the bench while other, less talented defensemen, paraded around the ice.
Buffalo’s defense was not good in those last few minutes, which led to the game tying goal with seconds remaining.
Maybe Ralph Krueger is just feeling things out early on and protecting his kids but if this continues, it would be a very troubling trend.
Seeing another late lead blown this early in the season is certainly troubling but the resiliency that the team continues to show with their “never say die” attitude is great.
The Sabres roll their record to 4-0-1 with 9 out of 10 potential points earned this season. Unreal to think they have come out of the gates so hot but here we are.
Buffalo’s chance at another victory comes Monday afternoon against the Dallas Stars at the Keybank Center.