Sabres slump against Senators

After a 9-day All-Star break, the rested Sabres dropped a must-win game against a lowly Ottawa Senators team by a score of 5-2. Things did not go well for Buffalo as they looked out of place and uninspired for most of the game. Although Buffalo came back from down a goal on two separate occasions to tie the game, they ultimately could not stop the 31st-ranked Senators power play as they went 3-for-4 with the man advantage. The Senators also scored a short-handed goal when Buffalo pulled their goalie with under three minutes left in the game.

After going down a goal just four minutes into the 1st period, the Sabres were handed a goal by a poor turnover from the Senators defenseman as he fed a wide-open Sam Reinhart in front of the net for a tap in goal.

Again in the 2nd period, Buffalo went down again but Jack Eichel was able to clean up the scraps in front of the net for a career-best 29th goal of the season. This would keep the game tied until the Senators pulled away in the 3rd period with another power-play goal and two empty netters.

The Sabres’ power play went 1 for 4 with the man advantage. However, it was not a strong showing for this unit. Marcus Johansson had multiple opportunities with shot after shot that were blocked by Ottawa defensemen. With Jeff Skinner’s return to the lineup, many questioned by Johansson held a spot of the top power-play unit over a goal scorer like Skinner.

Mid-way through the 3rd period, Linus Ullmark fell awkwardly back on his right leg and was helped off the ice by his teammates.  This injury will likely keep Ullmark off the ice for a substantial amount of time. Carter Hutton would come in to replace him for the remainder of the game.

This game was a tough one for the Sabres and especially the fans. Coming back after the All-Star break, Buffalo needed to get rolling in order to push for a playoff spot. Going against a team like Ottawa who had lost 7 straight road games and with only 1 win in their last 11 games, this was seen as a great opportunity to start off the last push strong. With Ullmark likely out for some time, things are looking bleak for the Buffalo Sabres for yet another year.

With obvious doubts looming, Jack Eichel expressed his frustration after the game as well.

Buffalo will look to bounce back against the Montreal Canadiens Thursday night at home. Puck drop will take place shortly after 7 p.m.

John Krieger
John Krieger
A Buffalo sports fan from birth who has stayed loyal through many tough years. Now living in Buffalo, NY. Producer of the BHC Podcast and would love to be able to report on future Sabres success. Let’s go Buffalo!
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