Another disappointing loss as the Sabres fall to the Avalanche 6-1 at KeyBank Center in Buffalo. The few remaining fans let the home team hear it, booing as the last seconds drained off the clock and the final horn sounded.
— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) February 5, 2020
Buffalo fought hard through the first period, but slowed down and softened up by the second. They drop to 23-23-7 and just seventh in the Wild Card race. After registering only one goal on a tip-in from Sam Reinhart, the Sabres are 24th in goal differential with a -16. Losing three of the last four at home means a wasted opporunity to regain control of the season.
The only silver lining may be that Jonas Johansson settled in well and finished the game. Yes, he gave up a goal on his first shot, but it was a rocket off the post by Mikko Rantanen off an odd-man rush. Johansson made the adjustment and shut down the rest of the night going 13 of 14 for a .929 save percentage.
“I felt more and more comfortable as the game went on.” – Jonas Johansson
It is difficult to see anything other than Carter Hutton going 8 for 13 and making an early exit, but there was little help in front of him giving the Avalanche plenty of high-percentage chances. Five of the six Colorado goals were off of the rush and the sixth was Sam Girard picking up the puck and stashing it in the net while the Sabres were looking the other way.
The Avalanche keep things close in the West, just one point behind Dallas in the Central division and two games in hand. Lethal on chances, Colorado had four players with multi-point nights and goals from six different players. Philipp Grubauer booked his 14th win, stopping 23 of 24 shot for a .958 save percentage.
“I think there needs to be a lot of self-reflecting, demanding more of yourself.” – Sam Reinhart
The Sabres need to do “a lot of self-reflecting” and figure out how to put the pieces together. They need to show they can win games they should as they faceoff against a struggling Detroit Red Wings team on Thursday night back at Key Bank Center in Buffalo.