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Game Recap

Sabres drop season finale

3 late goals not enough in wild loss to Panthers

Recap

It appeared as if the Sabres threw in the towel early on in their final regular season game, but a wild third period at the BB&T Center told a different story.

The Sabres scored two goals in 21 seconds late in the third to make a game of it, trailing 3-2. Jason Pominville recorded his 16th and Sam Reinhart got his 25th with just over four minutes remaining in the third.

Then, with the goaltender pulled in favor of the extra attacker, Vincent Trocheck seemingly sealed the deal for Florida. Buffalo wasn’t done just yet, though.

Ryan O’Reilly took a shot from a tough angle that found it’s way into the net to bring Buffalo within one goal with 15 seconds remaining.

The Sabres created a great last-second chance with a mad scramble in the Florida end, but time expired and the Panthers escaped with a 4-3 victory to end the season.

“That’s just the way typically what our season was, we didn’t come out and start on time, then we get urgency to try and comeback but the result is the result.” – Phil Housley

The Florida Panthers saw their playoff chances come to an end prior to the game, as the Philadelphia Flyers clinched the final spot in the Eastern Conference with a 5-0 victory over the New York Rangers. With that result, the Panthers elected to give James Reimer the start, instead of Roberto Luongo.

However, it didn’t stop them from coming out strong and scoring three goals in the opening period. Just over two minutes into the game, the Sabres found themselves down by two men after a pair of tripping penalties to Josh Gorges and Brendan Guhle. Jonathan Huberdeau capitalized with his 27th goal of the season.

Despite allowing six goals on Friday, Chad Johnson got the start in goal, but he didn’t last long. He allowed three goals on 12 shots in the opening 20 minutes. 

Adam Wilcox came on for his NHL debut and stopped all 14 shots he faced, but he was credited with the loss despite not allowing a goal.

Another positive from this game is that Ryan O’Reilly set an NHL record for most faceoff wins in a season with 1,269, passing Rod Brind’Amour, who had 1,268 in the 2005-06 season.

Sam Reinhart, Jason Pominville and Marco Scandella were the only two Sabres players to play in all 82 games this season.

With that, the Sabres season has come to an end. We’ve likely seen some players play their final game in blue and gold.

“Maybe the hardest part of the whole thing, I came here four years ago to try and change this organization and to look back at it four years from now it feels like a failed effort.” – Josh Gorges

While Sabres hockey won’t return until October, there is plenty to look forward to, starting with the draft lottery in just a few weeks.

Jason Botterill has his work cut out for him this summer, but we already got to see a preview of a couple of young guns in Casey Mittelstadt and Alex Nylander. Hopefully when next season rolls around, we’ll be watching a much-improved team.

Thank you all for reading this season!

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NHL Standings

TEAMGPRECPTS
Atlantic Division Leaders:
Z8254-23-5113
X8250-20-12112
X8249-26-7105
Metropolitan Division Leaders:
Y8249-26-7105
X8247-29-6100
X8242-26-1498
Wild Card leaders:
X8245-30-797
X8244-29-997
-----------------------------------------
8244-30-896
8236-35-1183
8235-37-1080
8234-39-977
8230-39-1373
8229-40-1371
8228-43-1167
8225-45-1262
TEAMGPRECPTS
Central Division Leaders:
P8253-18-11117
X8252-20-10114
X8245-26-11101
Pacific Division Leaders:
Y8251-24-7109
X8244-25-13101
X8245-27-10100
Wild Card leaders:
X8245-29-898
X8243-30-995
-----------------------------------------
8244-32-694
8242-32-892
8237-35-1084
8236-40-678
8233-39-1076
8231-40-1173
8229-41-1270
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