The Sabres don't know how to give up

Buffalo comes back after getting behind by three in the second period

Paul Hamilton
November 19, 2018 - 11:03 pm

Pittsburgh, PA (WGR 550) - I can’t remember seeing anything like this in watching the Sabres. It doesn’t matter how far they get behind, they find ways to win. This time, Buffalo overcame a 4-1 deficit and came away with a 5-4 overtime win.

The Sabres were supposedly working on their starts, but in Pittsburgh on Monday, they maybe got their worst start of the season. Buffalo just committed turnover after turnover, forcing Carter Hutton into two 2-on-0 saves.

The first was on a PP when Jack Eichel made a poor pass to Rasmus Dahlin. Former Sabre Derek Grant went in alone with Hutton stopping him and then Zach Aston-Reese on the rebound.

Later, Rasmus Ristolainen handed the puck to Evgeni Malkin and Hutton made saves on him and Jake Guentzel.

Buffalo got caught in a bad change and Rasmas Dahlin looked like he had no idea of the speed that Derick Brassard has. He flew by Dahlin for a breakaway goal.

The Sabres got much better as the first period went on, and Sam Reinhart showed great hustle on a forecheck. He got the puck and made a very smart play to Tage Thompson, who ripped a one-timer for his first goal as a Sabre.

Casey DeSmith had to make two circus saves on Zemgus Girgensons and another on Johan Larsson to make sure his team had a one-goal lead after one.

Pittsburgh kept pushing in the second period and causing bad plays, getting the game to 4-1, but nothing seems to faze this team. Bad play just inspires them into good play and they took over.

The Casey Mittelstadt line with Kyle Okposo and Conor Sheary just put it into high gear and Pittsburgh could never even get out of its own zone. They hemmed them in before the Casey Nelson goal and did the same before Mittelstadt tied it.

Jack Eichel had just one goal in 17 games, but he took the shot in overtime that snuck through DeSmith.

The Sabres didn’t lose a battle the whole third period until after they tied it. They let up a little for a few minutes after that, but Hutton was huge, especially on a Phil Kessel breakaway.

I can’t finish without talking about Thompson. Not only did he get off a quick one-timer for a goal, he almost did it again to win the game.

I like how he engaged in the battle in this game, which helped his line got some zone time as the game wore on. With Thompson playing better, so did his line mate Sam Reinhart.

Housley wanted to give Thompson some games in a row to try to get established, and he seemed to have a breakthrough against the Penguins.

The Sabres had four tough games against four tough opponents, with three of them on the road and they took eight of eight points. That's beyond anything I had imagined.

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