Sabres drop season finale


It appeared as if the Sabres threw in the towel early on in their final regular season game, but a wild third period at the BB&T Center told a different story.

The Sabres scored two goals in 21 seconds late in the third to make a game of it, trailing 3-2. Jason Pominville recorded his 16th and Sam Reinhart got his 25th with just over four minutes remaining in the third.

Then, with the goaltender pulled in favor of the extra attacker, Vincent Trocheck seemingly sealed the deal for Florida. Buffalo wasn’t done just yet, though.

Ryan O’Reilly took a shot from a tough angle that found it’s way into the net to bring Buffalo within one goal with 15 seconds remaining.

The Sabres created a great last-second chance with a mad scramble in the Florida end, but time expired and the Panthers escaped with a 4-3 victory to end the season.

“That’s just the way typically what our season was, we didn’t come out and start on time, then we get urgency to try and comeback but the result is the result.” – Phil Housley

The Florida Panthers saw their playoff chances come to an end prior to the game, as the Philadelphia Flyers clinched the final spot in the Eastern Conference with a 5-0 victory over the New York Rangers. With that result, the Panthers elected to give James Reimer the start, instead of Roberto Luongo.

However, it didn’t stop them from coming out strong and scoring three goals in the opening period. Just over two minutes into the game, the Sabres found themselves down by two men after a pair of tripping penalties to Josh Gorges and Brendan Guhle. Jonathan Huberdeau capitalized with his 27th goal of the season.

Despite allowing six goals on Friday, Chad Johnson got the start in goal, but he didn’t last long. He allowed three goals on 12 shots in the opening 20 minutes. 

Adam Wilcox came on for his NHL debut and stopped all 14 shots he faced, but he was credited with the loss despite not allowing a goal.

Another positive from this game is that Ryan O’Reilly set an NHL record for most faceoff wins in a season with 1,269, passing Rod Brind’Amour, who had 1,268 in the 2005-06 season.

Sam Reinhart, Jason Pominville and Marco Scandella were the only two Sabres players to play in all 82 games this season.

With that, the Sabres season has come to an end. We’ve likely seen some players play their final game in blue and gold.

“Maybe the hardest part of the whole thing, I came here four years ago to try and change this organization and to look back at it four years from now it feels like a failed effort.” – Josh Gorges

While Sabres hockey won’t return until October, there is plenty to look forward to, starting with the draft lottery in just a few weeks.

Jason Botterill has his work cut out for him this summer, but we already got to see a preview of a couple of young guns in Casey Mittelstadt and Alex Nylander. Hopefully when next season rolls around, we’ll be watching a much-improved team.

Thank you all for reading this season!



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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