The Sabres, after falling 4-2 to the Panthers on Tuesday, looked to break their three-game slide. The Sabres fell, 2-1, in a shootout, but the team played strong, which is encouraging given that it has been missing in recent games.
“We play with urgency, we respect their game, we play the right way, we have a commitment to it.”- Evan Rodrigues
Carter Hutton started in net for the Sabres, after Linus Ullmark suffered a minor injury during the morning skate and was unable to go. Hutton earned 39 saves and displayed a fantastic performance throughout this game against a difficult opponent and kept his team in it throughout the game’s duration.
The game got off to a fast start with both teams finishing the first 20 minutes with over 30 combined shots on goal and was one of the main stories of this game. One of the significant moments occurred when the Sabres earned a four-minute power play but were unable to capitalize.
Rasmus Dahlin broke the tie with his seventh goal of the year, off assists from Zach Bogosian and Jack Eichel with just over 90 seconds remaining in the open period and gave the Sabres added momentum heading into the next period.
“We had a really good focus and start of the game…we’ve got to carry this effort going forward, show some consistency.”- Phil Housley
However, the Lightning displayed their dominance in the second, which culminated more than halfway through the period. After a Sabres turnover resulted in a two-on-one opportunity, Nikita Kucherov buried his 30th goal of the year, which was also his 100th point, to tie the game up at 1.
Dahlin and Kucherov scored the two lone goals in regulation, as the game was sent to a shootout, where Stamkos and Kucherov sealed the deal for the Lightning. Despite suffering a 2-1 loss, this was one of the most hard-fought games for the Sabres in recent memory.
After both teams earned a combined 32 shots on goal after the opening period, the offensive opportunities continued to be prevalent, although the Lightning tightened up their defense, limiting the Sabres to six shots, while they had similar shot totals in the first two periods.
The Sabres return home after a three-game road trip that saw them earn one point out of a possible six, but tonight’s effort hopes to serve as an example for the final stretch of the season. They will host the Washington Capitals at KeyBank Center on Saturday afternoon for a 1 p.m. matinee.