The Buffalo Sabres started off their road trip strong with an early goal from a nice deflection by Sam Reinhart. Victor Olofsson continues to show improvement with his overall game, his strong board play led directly to the first goal of the game.
The power-play by the Sabres needs a kick-start as they are unable to generate consistent pressure and chances.
Special teams continue to be an Achilles heel for the Sabres as the penalty kill falls to kill the Sabres first penalty of the game. The penalty kill continues to give too much space, this enables the flames to capitalize on the open space and score on the power-play.
The second period was a complete bust for the Buffalo Sabres. Linus Ullmark kept the Sabres in the game, however, a short-handed goal allows the Flames to take their first lead of the game.
Once again the Sabres power-play fails to capitalize on opportunities. There is a significant need for improvement on zone entries as well as having too much of a pass-first and perimeter mentality.
Jimmy Vesey was noticeable for the Sabres in both positive and negative manners. In the second period, Vesey hit the post, and early in the third period, he was thwarted on a partial break-away. Unfortunately, Vesey committed a penalty late in the period putting the Sabres short-handed for two minutes.
The Sabres turn on the pressure late in the game while down 4-1. Olofsson makes another nice pass that Jake McCabe is able to capitalize on to cut the deficit to two goals.
With limited time left in the game Eichel scores on the power-play with the goalie pulled. Eichel’s hot streak continues as he now has points in 11 straight games.
The score is now cut to 4-3, however, the Sabres are unable to make the final push to tie the score and the Flames skate away with a victory.
This was a very forgettable game for the Sabres, and they were lucky to get as close as they did at the end of the game. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Sabres GM make a trade in the near future before the NHL trade freeze.
Here’s to hoping that the rest of the west coast trip can build off the final minutes of the game against the Flames, and the Sabres are able to earn some points and play with more passion and confidence.