In what may be the last game for some in the sweater, the Buffalo Sabres showed exactly why they’re in a solid position to sell at the NHL’s trade deadline tomorrow afternoon.
After taking two separate two goal leads, the Sabres went on to blow both of those as well, with the red-hot Filip Forsberg tying the game at four with about two and a half minutes left in the third period to send the game into overtime. Forsberg ended the game in overtime with his second of the game off a blocked Sam Reinhart pass.
For the third game in a row out of their bye week, the Sabres allowed a winnable game slip out of their hands. While this one was against a much better team, an uninspired third period led to the Sabres losing a point that they definitely should not have lost.
“We had a chance a few days ago to ride a different course and we weren’t able to do that. This one stings. Tomorrow is a tough day.” – Kyle Okposo
The first period started off well for the Sabres, seeing them outshooting the Predators 16-7 in the frame. After missing out a powerplay chance earlier the period, the Sabres scored twice in about a two minute period of time with Brian Gionta and Kyle Okposo finding the back of the net to give the Sabres the 2-0 lead. Nashville would bounce back and cut the lead in half with just over a minute remaining on a goal from Mike Fisher.
The second period opened with a quick Predators powerplay and they took advantage, tying the game at two. After controlling play for essentially the entire first five minutes of the period, Evander Kane scored his 22nd of the year on the Sabres’ first shot of the period to allow them to retake the lead 3-2. The remainder of the period was a sluggish, back-and-forth affair, seeing the Predators end with a 16-6 lead in shots.
After a tussle at center ice gave a four-on-four early in the third, the Sabres were able to cash in early with Okposo finding a seam up ice and Jake McCabe potting the big rebound to make it 4-2 Sabres. The Sabres then went into “park the bus” mode, and did so successfully for a bit until Ryan Johansen cut the lead to one with about 8:30 remaining in the third. Forsberg scored soon after to send the game into overtime.
Now Sabres fans will wait to see who is still with the club after tomorrow’s deadline. Dmitry Kulikov and Cody Franson are the most likely to move given the internet rumors, but the main focus is on Evander Kane. A trade for Kane would be one of the most impactful moves of the deadline, for the acquiring team and the Sabres, so most eyes will be on him tomorrow.
The Sabres will look to change their fortunes, possibly with some new faces, against the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday at KeyBank Center. Puck drop is at 7 p.m.
January 1, 2018
|2||TBD||Obtained MIN pick by trading Chris Stewart.|
|3||TBD||Obtained WAS pick by trading Mike Weber.|
|5||Traded||Traded for rights to Anders Nilsson|