I’m not exactly sure how to feel after a game like this. Buffalo played well. Maybe not a full 60 minute effort, but they did play well.
After falling behind, 3-0, they kept battling and almost tied it up. You can’t blame Linus Ullmark for two of those goals. The first one he had no support as the Preds got three shots within seconds. The other was a pretty passing play that Cody Hodgson scored on.
Of course Hodgson got the game-winning goal, too.
“I know people always want to do well in the buildings that they’re in and they came from for whatever the reason,” Predators coach Peter Laviolette said. “Cody played a good game tonight; his line factored in a big goal for us.”
Any time a team has a scoring drought and comes to play Buffalo, you know it’ll be broken.
“We’re playing well, but then we’re shooting ourselves in the foot,” Evander Kane said. “It’s okay to have a breakdown or two here or there where they get a chance and it doesn’t cost you. But we’re giving up 3-on-1s … they have a guy wide open on the back door for an empty net. Those are the kind of things that we can’t have happen.”
And how about Carter Hutton? He’s now 4-0 and has allowed just one goal in each game against Buffalo. Besides that, the Sabres still aren’t getting respect, and I’m not saying they deserve it yet. Teams are still playing their backup goaltenders against us. Until we can start taking advantage of that, I don’t see why they shouldn’t.
We’re not a good team yet, especially as we’re in the midst of a six game losing streak. However, we’re still in games. We’re not being blown out. Who knew that hitting a goalie would get the crowd into the game like that?
That was when the crowd was loudest, when Marcus Foligno upended Hutton. I’m surprised no fight ensued since that was the second time Foligno hit Hutton, mistake or not.
It was an electric feeling in the arena after that, and it certainly helped the Sabres gain momentum. Back to Hutton, he played very well all night, including a point blank save after Foligno flipped him. Hutton got jarred around quite a bit, but to his credit, he didn’t lose his temper. He didn’t fight back. He played his game and I earned a lot of respect for him because of it.
These two teams will meet again on Saturday in Nashville. That one will be interesting. The Sabres will finish their three game homestand Friday against Carolina.