Sabres can’t solve Niemi


It was another lackluster display on home ice against a team near the bottom of the standings, a problem that has plagued Buffalo all season long. 

The Sabres were shut out at the hands of the Montreal Canadiens by a 3-0 score on Friday night at KeyBank Center. 

Antti Niemi stopped all 35 shots he faced to earn his sixth victory of the season. 

The score was not indicative of the game as the Canadiens got a pair of empty-net goals – one from Paul Byron and another from Brendan Gallagher. 

Linus Ullmark received the start and allowed one goal on 22 shots. Only Artturi Lehkonen beat him early in the second period, which turned out to be the game-winning goal. 

The problem once again for the Sabres was that they couldn’t find a way to score. It’s the second time they’ve been shut out in the past three games, a span over which they have just one goal. 

“I think it’s about time our leadership group stood up now. I challenged them yesterday, definitely wasn’t the response I was looking for.” – Phil Housley

Housley lashed out at the team during practice on Thursday morning, hoping to generate some sort of spark, but it didn’t carry over into the game. 

Over the past month, it appeared as if the Sabres were playing better as a team, but all of that has been negated after capping a six-game homestand on Friday. They went 1-4-1 while scoring nine goals, five of which came in one game. 

Head coach Phil Housley said the team played a relatively good first period, but then started to move away from the gameplan, and that’s when things became worse.

“It’s not about anything Montreal did. It’s about what we didn’t do.” – Housley

The loss further puts the Sabres into 31st place as they are three points behind both the Vancouver Canucks and Arizona Coyotes.

Only eight games remain for Buffalo this season. They’re right back at it on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden against the New York Rangers. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m.



Kevin Freiheit
Kevin Freiheit
I founded Buffalo Hockey Central in 2008 and have poured hours and hours into this site. Luckily, we have a great team of writers and designers who have helped keep this up and running despite a ton of out-of-pocket costs. We do this because we enjoy it, and we're desperate to see the Sabres win the Cup someday, but they have to make the playoffs first.
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