Sabres give up late lead, fall in OT


The Buffalo Sabres overtime woes continued Wednesday night in a 3-2 loss to the New York Islanders.

It was truly textbook.

As we’ve seen so many times over the last stretch of games, the Sabres looked poised for a well-earned two points on the road, but to no avail.

Mathew Barzal, who leads all NHL rookies in scoring, potted his 13th goal of the year only 1:08 into overtime. Robin Lehner played a solid game, but may certainly want that game-winning goal back.

That wasn’t the only misfortune Lehner would have to deal with as well. In the late stages of the third period, with the Islander’s net empty, Josh Bailey knotted his 11th goal of the season tying the game at two.

At first glance, it appeared Lehner made the glove save, but after a video review, it was determined that the puck completely crossed the goal line. We’ve seen many calls go the other way in many instances like this. Unfortunately, Lehner’s glove did not do enough to hide the puck so as to produce ‘inconclusive evidence’.

As stated above the Sabres did a lot of things right tonight, but came up short.

Former Islander, Kyle Okposo, burned his former team about halfway through the third period giving the Sabres a 2 to 1 lead. His sixth goal of the season was catalyzed by a great effort from Evander Kane, who got the puck to the net while Okposo cashed in on a rebound from the side of the net.

Jack Eichel continued to light up the score sheet as well as he assisted on a Zemgus Girgensons goal which tied the game at one. With that assist, Eichel now has nine points in his last five games (5 goals, 4 assists).

Girgensons appears to be benefiting from playing on a top line with Eichel and Sam Reinhart. Even with the improved play, it’s still only his third goal of the season.

Sabres’ head coach Phil Housley made an example of last games’ loss to Carolina when he talked about playing physical and matching the opponent’s intensity. It simply wasn’t good enough last game.

Tonight, however, the Sabres appeared up for the task. Buffalo tough guy, Jordan Nolan, made two notable hits early in the first period which set the tempo of the game.

The Islanders ended up scoring first, getting a goal from Jason Chimera. Buffalo didn’t panic, however. They took what was given to them and played a simple road game. All that was missing for the Sabres was some finish to their game.

The special teams were a mix of both positives and negatives. The penalty-kill stood tall tonight going 2 for 2, but their power-play was dreadful once again. They went 0 for 4 and gave up multiple odd-man rushes against.

The Sabres head next to New Jersey where they play the Devils Friday night at 7 p.m. The much anticipated Winter Classic is slated for Saturday at 1 p.m. against the Rangers as well.




Matt Studemeyer
Although born and raised in Charleston, SC, I've had a passion for both hockey and the Buffalo Sabres since childhood. In addition to writing, I'm also an avid musician/guitarist and currently work in the moving and transportation industry.
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