The Buffalo Sabres entered tonight’s game, looking to cool off the red hot Colorado Avalanche, and win their first home game of the young season.
Colorado took a hold of the game from the get go, utilizing their speed to catch the Sabres off guard.
With their speed in hand, Colorado was able to get off their first 12 shots before the Sabres could get a single shot.
Just 8:44 into the first period, the Avalanche were able to take the Sabres to task and score the first goal of the game. Christian Ehrhoff found himself out of place in front of Ryan Miller, allowing Ryan O’Reilly to sneak in and score his 3rd goal of the season.
Three minutes later, at 11:57, Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog scored his 2nd goal of the season on a wrap around, after he beat Mike Weber cleanly and escaped the attempted brush off from Ryan Miller.
To illustrate how outmatched the Sabres were in the first, it took them 14:49 to record a shot.
Heading into the second period, the Sabres found themselves outscored 2-0, outshot 14-3, and overall just overmatched in all facets of the game.
“If we knew what it was, we wouldn’t be repeating the same mistakes,” said Cody Hodgson.
The second began with Colorado on the power play, and the results did not change at all.
Less than a minute into the second period, Colorado was applying pressure in the offensive zone when defenseman Mark Pysyk was unable to clear a shot. This failure to clear allowed Colorado forward Matt Duchene to net his 6th goal of the season and 1st of the game.
Nothing seemed to be going the Sabres way, until a Drew Stafford outlet pass to Cody Hodgson resulted in a rocket of a shot, from just under the blue line, that beat J.S Giguere. It was the Sabres first goal of the game, at 5:31, and Hodgson’s 2nd of the season.
It would only take a little over three minutes for Colorado to gain back the momentum. Another instance of defense standing around and getting caught, Paul Stastny was able to grab a rebound and slide it home past Ryan Miller. This goal, at 8:33, was Colorado’s fourth of the night and Stastny’s 1st of the season.
Through the rest of the second period, the Sabres would find themselves mounting good offensive pressure but they could just never get themselves over the hump offensively.
After two periods, the Sabres trailed 4-1, and 22-14 in shots.
Buffalo began the period with early pressure, and it led to something good for once.
Steve Ott began the play, but following a few blocked shot attempts, the puck found its way onto Henrik Tallinder’s stick. A juicy rebound fed itself to Marcus Foligno, who spun around and put the puck up top, at 1:05 of the third.
It would count for the Sabres 2nd goal of the night, and Foligno’s 2nd of the season.
Momentum continued to roll in Buffalo’s favor, following a fight between Mike Weber and Colorado forward Steve Downie. While this fight put Colorado on the power play, the Sabres could not be deterred.
The momentum continued to seemingly tilt the ice towards Colorado’s side of the ice, the Sabres could not make anything out of the multiple opportunities they had throughout the third period.
When all was said and done, the Sabres were unable to score again in the game, and they would lose this one.
“We’re going to have to address our preparation entering games,” said Tyler Myers. “It’s unacceptable. It’s starting to get pretty ridiculous.”
After the game, Nikita Zadorov had some encouraging words following his NHL debut.
“I like hockey”, said Zadorov. “I do it every day and I like it. It’s my first game in the NHL and I like it.
The 4-2 loss tonight drops Buffalo to 1-8-1, which has them last in the Atlantic Division.
Buffalo takes the ice again on Wednesday the 23rd, when they host the Boston Bruins. That game will be broadcast nationally on NBCSN, with puck drop shortly after 8 PM.