As the losses pile up, the Sabres can't score even one goal

Buffalo's shutout streak has hit 197:40

Paul Hamilton
March 14, 2019 - 10:28 pm

Photo: Timothy T. Ludwig - USA TODAY Sports


Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) - The Sabres had played four good periods of defense, but the problem is, they didn’t score a goal in any of those periods.

They limited Pittsburgh to almost nothing in the first period on Thursday, but that changed in a big way as the Sabres gave up another three-goal period in the second.

Pittsburgh came into the game with a power play goal in six out of seven games. The Penguins are red-hot on the power play and netted two goals with the extra man in the second period. On the first goal, Sidney Crosby made his favorite cross-ice pass to Phil Kessel and Carter Hutton had no chance. On the other, Patric Hornqvist was left wide open in front and he backhanded it by Hutton. Crosby assisted on both goals, giving him 31 points in his last 17 games. The Pens went 3-for-4 with the extra man and recently are 6-for-13.

The other goal was created when the Sabres broke coverage and started chasing. Evgeni Malkin did a lap in the zone and found Brian Dumoulin, who was open in the slot.

Buffalo had 12 shots, but only one really good chance when Sam Reinhart set up Jeff Skinner in front and he was stopped by Casey DeSmith. As usual, there were no second chances because nobody was around the net.

Buffalo could’ve broken its shutout streak in the first 15 seconds of the game when Reinhart was set up in front. He looked to have DeSmith beat, but he fired it wide.

Same thing for Jason Pominville when DeSmith was losing his balance. A shot on goal scores unless he hits him, but that went wide too.

Pittsburgh is a team that can be scored on, but the Sabres showed very little urgency in the offensive zone and had very little interest of being around the net.

In the third period, Conor Sheary came down the slot open and had two great chance to break the shutout string, but DeSmith stopped both chances.

Sheary got another great chance as he sprung open, but DeSmith made the save on his redirection.

In the end, it was just another game where this team showed very little pride in what they were doing. The coaching staff has been begging them to go to the net and stay there all season long, but very few do it. It’s mid-March, so I think we can safely say that they aren’t going to do it.

In the post-game show, Kyle Okposo said "Anytime that you put on an NHL sweater, put on a Sabres sweater, you better play with some pride otherwise you shouldn’t [expletive] be here. I don’t believe that, that we’ve lost that, and if guys have, then they shouldn’t be here."

He’s absolutely right.

Jason Botterill has to start identifying the players that quit, don’t play with pride and can’t figure out a simple game plan.

Jason Pominville is usually pretty honest with his answers and he said, “It comes down to who wants it more and battling. You got to do it for each other it hasn't been good enough. The results aren't what we want, I hope there is not quit, I'm certainly not a guy to quit

"It's definitely not the attitude we want to have. To me it comes down to compete and pride and battle, and right now it's not there."

So now this team has been shutout for 197:40. Next is Carolina, a team they always have trouble with.

Comments ()