Comeback falls short, Colorado defeats Sabres 5-4

Ryan O'Reilly scores a goal and adds two assists in loss against former team

Pat Malacaro
February 11, 2018 - 7:08 pm

Photo: Timothy T. Ludwig - USA TODAY Sports


The Buffalo Sabres trailed almost all game and could never gain a lead in their 5-4 loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday night at KeyBank Center.

First Period:

19:17 - AVALANCHE GOAL. It does not take the visitors long as they are able to use a long outlet pass to stretch the ice and get a 2-on-0 break in the offensive zone. Alexander Kerfoot notches his 13th goal of the year in the game's opening minute. 1-0 COL.

13:15 - Buffalo played pretty well in the minute or two after Colorado's goal, but they failed to convert on their chance. It came off the stick of Evander Kane, but Jonathan Bernier was up to the task to knock the puck away. Now Jordan Nolan heads to the penalty box for high sticking.

12:03 - SABRES GOAL. Well, it is the blue and gold that capitalize on the special teams chance in this opening period thanks to a hustle play. Ryan O'Reilly stayed with the puck and got it to the front of the net, Benoit Pouliot was the trailer on the play and slammed it into an open net to tie the game at one. 1-1 tie.

10:41 - AVALANCE GOAL. Now it is the visitor's turn to score short-handed as Rasmus Ristolainen has the puck get past hit at the blue line, and he does not have enough to catch up to Matt Nieto as he broke free and clear in the open ice and beats Robin Lehner to the top corner of the net for the goal. Not a good sequence for Buffalo on the power play. 2-1 COL.

1:12 - This has not been the cleanest of periods for either side. Colorado negated their own 5-on-3 chance with a face-off violation penalty. The teams are skating 4-on-4 for the next handful of seconds still.

End of Period

Goal Summary:

BUF: 7:57 - Benoit Pouliot (11) SHG (Ryan O'reilly)
COL: 0:43 - Alexander Kerfoot (13) (Colin Wilson, Nikita Zadorov). 9:19 - Matt Nieto (10) SHG (unassisted)

Penalty Summary:

BUF: 6:45 - Joran Nolan (2 min., high sticking). 15:52 - Marco Scandella (2 min., slashing). 17:42 - Scott Wilson (2 min., high sticking)
COL: 8:57 - Team (2 min., too many men on the ice). 17:42 - Team (2 min., face-off violation)

Shots on Goal:

BUF - 7, COL - 13


Second Period:

18:53 - AVALANCHE GOAL. Another Rasmus Ristolainen turnover results in a Colorado goal, and another quick strike from the visitors. He hands the puck to the Avs in the offensive zone, and Colin Wilson uses Nathan Beaulieu as a screen to notch his first of the night. 3-1 COL.

14:40 - This has not been a good period for Buffalo, and the boo birds are letting them know. With the exception of an O'Reilly shot on the power play, their special teams was not good on their first man advantage of the second period. Even O'Reilly's shots gave a clear look for Bernier to see it and stop it. Not an overly hard save.

8:15 - Buffalo looks like they are in a fog tonight. They aren't really playing with a purpose and keep taking bad penalties.

6:45 - SABRES GOAL. Casey Nelson picks a heck of a time to record his first career NHL goal. It is another short-handed marker for Buffalo as Nelson coverts on a second chance wrap around play that wakes everyone up in the building. 3-2 COL.

1:45 - Buffalo is finally establishing themselves in the offensive zone over the last few minutes. They are forcing back plays by Colorado and have come close to tying the game. Much better since Nolan took his second minor penalty of the game.

End of Period

Goal Summary:

BUF: 13:15 - Casey Nelson (1) SHG (Ryan O'Reilly, Justin Falk)
COL: 1:07 - Colin Wilson (5) (Gabriel Landeskog)

Penalty Summary:

BUF: 6:34 - Jacob Josefson (2 min., holding). 11:45 - Jordan Nolan (2 min., holding)
COL: 3:20 - Nikita Zadorov (2 min., holding). 8:40 - Tyson Barrie (2 min., slashing)

Shots on Goal:

BUF - 12 (19), COL - 9 (22)


Third Period:

17:26 - Johan Larsson heads to the penalty box for boarding in the offensive zone. We'll see if the Avs can make it three for three in terms of quick goals in a period.

16:55 - AVALANCHE GOAL. It did not take the visitors long to notch the two-goal lead again. Tyson Jost was in the slot and was able to capitalize on a rebound attempt. JT Compher was on the ice for the score, he was part of the O'Reilly trady and was still just a prospect at the time. 4-2 COL.

12:57 - AVALANCHE GOAL. The night goes from bad to worse for the Sabres and several players make mistakes that lead to the fifth Colorado goal. Gabriel Bourque gets the goal on a backhand attempt of a bad rebound in front. Many are headed for the exits. 5-2 COL

7:54 - If Buffalo ever had a chance to get back in the game, it would be now. Carl Soderberg heads to the penalty box and the Sabres have a 5-on-3 PP for the next thirty-six seconds.

7:46 - SABRES GOAL. Ryan O'Reilly wins a face-off back to the point, the puck ends up on his stick on the right wing wall, and he buries the chance to bring Buffalo back within a pair of goals. It might have been a set play, and it works. 5-3 COL.

3:31 - It is getting late on the comeback. Since O'Reilly's goal Buffalo has had a hard time getting the puck to the net as the Avs are starting to play prevent defense.

2:52 - SABRES GOAL. Evander Kane is the benefitiary of a good bounce that goes off of Samuel Girard's skate, and Buffalo is within a goal. Remember when I said there wasn't much of a push? Yeah, there is one now. 5-4 COL.

End of Game
Colorado 5, Buffalo 4

Goal Summary:

BUF: 12:14 - Ryan O'Reilly (17) PPG (Kyel Okposo, Rasmus Ristolainen). 17:08 - Evander Kane (18) (unassisted)
COL: 3:05 - Tyson Jost (5) PPG (Tyson Barrie, Mikko Rantanen). 7:03 - Gabriel Bourque 5) (Anton Lindholm)

Penalty Summary:

BUF: 2:34 - Johan Larsson (2 min., boarding)
COL: 10:24 - A.J. Greer (2 min., interference). 12:06 - Carl Soderberg (2 min., hooking)

Shots on Goal:

BUF - 13 (32), COL - 5 (27)


BUF: Robin Lehner - 22 saves
COL: Jonathan Bernier - 28 saves

Power Plays:

BUF: 1 for 5 (20%)
COL: 1 for 5 (20%)

Three Stars:

  1. Colin Wilson - COL
  2. Ryan O'Reilly - BUF
  3. Gabriel Bourque - COL

What's Next:

The blue and gold remain home to bein another busy week. Buffalo hosts the Tampa Bay Lightning at seven o'clock on Tuesday night. You can hear all of the action from KeyBank Center on the flagship home of the Sabres Radio Network - WGR Sports Radio 550. Pregame coverage begins at six o'clock with Mike Schopp and the Bulldog at (716) Food and Sport.

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