Sabres take tough loss


It was a terrific game to watch from start to finish, but it was the Colorado Avalanche who came out on top on Wednesday night at Pepsi Center. The Sabres never held the lead, but they played with desperation and were never out of it.

Colorado is easily a much better team, but the Sabres showed up and played one of their best games of the season. The problem was they failed to finish several opportunities, they ran into a great performance by goaltender Pavel Francouz, and the penalty kill struggled.

There are a number of things, or players, you could point your finger at as a cause for the loss. Maybe it’s Victor Olofsson not finishing any of his high-quality chances. Perhaps it’s Colin Miller for leaving his man wide open in front of the net. Or maybe it’s Rasmus Ristolainen with a dreadful game.

Either way, it all results in a 3-2 loss, and it was a game the Sabres needed badly. Many NHL teams were idle tonight and this was a big chance to gain some ground. Playoff hopes were already slim, but this won’t help that at all.

114:24PPGGabriel Landeskog (17)J.T. Compher (18)Nathan MacKinnon (52)
116:21Zemgus Girgensons (12)Kyle Okposo (9)Johan Larsson (11)
27:15PPGMartin Kaut (1)Vladislav Kamenev (7)Samuel Girard (27)
214:56Curtis Lazar (5)Jake McCabe (8)Michael Frolik (8)
311:54J.T. Compher (10)Joonas Donskoi (17)Tyson Jost (12)

The biggest positive out of this game is that the Sabres kept up their strong play. Despite the loss, this was one of their better efforts. If they can maintain this level of play, they have a chance to put together a strong March.

Carter Hutton was strong in goal. The game-winner wasn’t his best attempt, but he kept the team in the game. Colorado was buzzing at times and Nathan MacKinnon looked dangerous on every shift. This game could have easily been a much different score.

I keep coming back to Olofsson, who seemed to have endless chances and just couldn’t bury one of them.

The Toronto Maple Leafs are eight points ahead of Buffalo and will take on the Florida Panthers on Thursday night. Next up for the Sabres are the Vegas Golden Knights on Friday and the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday. 

Kevin Freiheit
I founded Buffalo Hockey Central in 2008 and have poured hours and hours into this site. Luckily, we have a great team of writers and designers who have helped keep this up and running despite a ton of out-of-pocket costs. We do this because we enjoy it, and we're desperate to see the Sabres win the Cup someday, but they have to make the playoffs first.
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