O’Reilly scores lone goal in loss


The Buffalo Sabres lost their fourth straight game in a matinee affair against the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday, by a score of 4-1.

It wasn’t a great day for Buffalo sports as a whole, as the Bills lost their first playoff game in 17 seasons to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The 4-1 loss to the Flyers wasn’t as dreadful as the score may suggest. The Flyers scored two empty-net goals in a last-ditch effort by the Sabres to make a comeback. Buffalo outshot Philadelphia 31-29 and won 52% in the faceoff circle. Both teams went 1-for-3 on the power-play.

In a rare occurrence, the Sabres scored the first goal of the game – Ryan O’Reilly’s 10th of the season as he sizzled a slap shot past Michal Neuvirth on the power-play. That would be the Sabres lone goal, as Robin Lehner once again could not garner any run support.

O’Reilly’s goal was inevitably the turning point in the game, but surprisingly for the Flyers and not the Sabres. After a first period where the Sabres dominated in shots on goal and zone time, the Flyers took the game over shortly after the O’Reilly goal.

Shayne Gostisbehere got the home team on the board as he jumped up in the rush and executed a perfect passing sequence, scoring his ninth goal of the season.

Sean Couturier, who’s in the midst of an outstanding breakout season, scored his 22nd goal of the season on the power-play, giving the Flyers a 2 to 1 lead and the game winner. His 23rd came on an empty-net goal.

The Sabres, though with a respectable shot total, were unable to manufacture any meaningful scoring chances in the third period to pull themselves back into the game. The Flyers were savvy at playing a patient, shutdown game and keeping most of Buffalo’s chances to the perimeter.

After a long seven-game road trip, the Sabres come home to face the Winnipeg Jets Tuesday at KeyBank Center. Puck-drop is slated for 7 p.m. as the Sabres still search for their first win of 2018.



Matt Studemeyer
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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