Sabres drop shootout to Vegas


The Sabres fell to the Vegas Golden Knights, 2-1, in a shootout that saw the new franchise break the NHL record for road wins by a first-year team. The game was a goaltending duel that saw Marc Andre Fleury stop 31 saves on 32 shots and Sabres goalie Robin Lehner stop 33 of 34.

The Golden Knights showed their speed and strength in puck possession, dominating Buffalo, 11-6, in shots in the first period.

In the second period, Buffalo responded with a better effort, outshooting the Golden Knights, 15-7. Scott Wilson had a nice chance in front late in the period, but former Penguins teammate Marc Andre Fleury was able to stop his shot low.

Early in the 3rd period, recent AHL call up Josh Bailey scored his third goal of the year on a pretty backhanded shot after a nice pass from the left side of the net by Benoit Pouliot. Pouliot did all the work on the play, deflecting a Golden Knights pass at the Sabres blue line and racing down to Vegas corner where he fed Bailey in front.

Unfortunately, the Sabres couldn’t hold the lead with the Golden Knights scoring the tying goal with 4:14 to go in the game. Lehner slid out of position on a play to the right side of the net and Deryk Engelland was able to score a rap around which bounced off Sabre Marco Scandella’s leg and skate who tried to block the shot.

In overtime, Syracuse, NY native Alex Tuch almost won the game for the Golden Knights on a drive in front that saw the puck slide through the Sabres crease.

Brendan Guhle responded right back with a nice rush to the right side of Marc Andre Fleury, who stopped his backhanded attempt.

With just over a minute to go, Lehner made a gorgeous save on a Tomas Tatar one-timer in front. The Golden Knights won the game, 2-1, after a five-round shootout with David Perron and Erik Haula scoring for the Golden Knights and Jacob Josefson scoring for the Sabres.

The Sabres put forth a good effort especially with having two starting forwards out of lineup thanks to Kyle Okposo’s concussion and Evan Rodrigues lower-body injury. Buffalo had their chances in the 2nd and 3rf period, but couldn’t covert on those or hold the lead late.

The game was cleanly played with only four penalties being called throughout, two apiece for each team. The Sabres dominated the faceoff circle 40-19 with Ryan O’Reilly winning 27 of 33 draws.

Besides scoring the Sabres only goal Josh Bailey was a constant presence throughout the game creating a lot of opportunities and showing good speed. Hopefully he can build off of this and finally establish himself as a regular in the Sabres lineup. He is a player the Sabres have been hoping will develop into a top nine forward,

The Sabres now have four days off before a rematch with the rival Toronto Maple Leafs up north in Canada on Thursday March 15th at 7 p.m.



Craig Mazuchowski
SUNY Oswego Alumni. Self-taught guitarist. I've been a Sabres and hockey fan since birth. I've also refereed youth hockey and play in a men’s league. My tombstone will be in the shape of pizza.
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