Outmatched by Colorado

The Buffalo Sabres failed to win their third game in a row, falling to the Colorado Avalanche by a 6-1 score on Thursday night at KeyBank Center. In a penalty-filled game, Colorado was able to jump out to an early 2-0 lead thanks to a pair of power-play goals in the first period and never looked back. 

Buffalo seemed frustrated with Colorado’s speed throughout, and as the game wore on, the frustration in the players’ faces was noticeable. Last year’s Hart Trophy finalist, Nathan MacKinnon, finished the game with two goals, and Mikko Rantanen recorded three assists for the Avalanche. Colorado’s Colin Wilson also was a force, scoring the Avalanche’s second goal of the game.

Buffalo thought they had trimmed the lead in the 1st period to 3-1 when Jack Eichel made a beautiful play in the Colorado end to lead a rush and throw the puck to Kyle Okposo in front. Unfortunately, the league ruled that Okposo interfered with Semyon Varlamov and the goal was reversed.

From there, Varlamov seemed to just read everything Buffalo threw at him, including a nice one-timed shot by Casey Mittelstadt.

While Carter Hutton was a bit shaky in this game despite two late breakaway goals, Varlamov stymied the Sabres on 30 of 31 shots, which only added to the Sabres aggravation throughout.

The Sabres only goal was scored with three minutes to go in the 2nd period when Nathan Beaulieu shot a nice wrister low from the point that bounced in. Rasmus Dahlin got his first NHL point with an assist on that goal.

The Sabres gave up another Colorado goal just 28 seconds after the Buffalo goal late in the second period to MacKinnon, who was left uncovered in front. Colorado added two more in the final minutes. including a nice breakaway goal by Alexander Kerfoot.

The Sabres skill this season is far more noticeable and they outshot Colorado, 31 to 30, but they just couldn’t finish and took too many penalties.

Buffalo will head out on their big Western Conference road trip, starting with the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday at 9 p.m. EST.

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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